Posted this morning on the Dunstable Downs Kite Festival Facebook page
Bad news today, here is a quote from a National Trust staff member.
It is unfortunate but the strain it was putting on the small team we have at NT was becoming too much. We no longer have a dedicated events coordinator and Stacey has been extremely stretched to cover all areas of programming on part time hours, she’s done a great job but kite festival is simply just too big for a small team to run, the planning and hours put in can become very stressful to staff not to mention costs involved, to put on large events, where losses are being made, As a charity we have to manage our costs very closely. We are however aiming to do smaller events with kite flying involved.
Shame, it was one of my favourite festivals. Going the way of most of the large festivals I'm afraid. Will keep an eye open for info on the "smaller events with kite flying involved" and post when seen.
The post has now been changed to Official press release coming soon!
I had already surmised Dunstable was not happening, as there was no date on the kite calendar, and nothing mentioned on the NT Dunstable website. I think with Joe pulling out, and no paid for events co-ordinator it was just too big an event for NT to handle. I am not sure how they lost money on the Kite Festival, as when I have been there was always large crowds, and the cafeteria.restaurant and shop were always busy, with money being spent. The only kite event they are likely to host is the Stack championships which they have had for the last few years.
Oh well it seems the Kiteflying community will have to support as many events put on out of area as they are able to do so. Unless a golden opportunity arises in Kent, we shall stick to one day events in Kent.
Post by Gareth Williams on Mar 4, 2019 13:37:36 GMT
Oh that is sad news, but possibly last year was the final nail in the coffin. The weather was atrocious, and they had presumably paid for the kite team to come in from Germany for two days. They also have hire of portaloos, etc, as well as hire of various marquees, etc. It all adds up and so the event would have been marginal at best.
It is still a great place to go and fly kites, so perhaps we should consider just going up for an away day fly-in sometime?
Hi everybody. We are still awaiting the official press release from the National Trust about the situation with the kite festival for 2019.
As it currently stands there will be no Kite Festival this year - However!
The Trust will be holding more Kite related events and fun days throughout the year instead so please keep an eye on the official Dunstable Downs page for upcoming event news. We understand that the festival was very overwhelming for the small team of staff and volunteers up on the Dunstable Downs, especially after it became a two day event a few years back. So we would like to thank all those that made it possible and who knows what the future holds. Perhaps in time it could return but that will be a decision for the National Trust.
One of the most amazing Kite Fliers to the festival in past years was Andrew Beattie along with his partner Kathleen they brought some of the biggest single line kites to the event. When asked Andrew for a comment he said “Dunstable kite festival has always been a special event for me. I have fond memories of flying in the powerful ridge-lift that the escarpment generates and always liked the friendly, relaxed atmosphere that Joe Brown and the team brought to the site. I will be sad to see it go but I am grateful for the lifelong friendships that began in the sunshine and the wind at the top of that hill.”
Without all the fliers that came along to perform at the Festivals it simply would not be possible so a big thank you to those that did.
There have been so many fun things that have happened over the years and we will keep this page open and will be posting memories of the past events which we hope will keep you entertained.
This is not the end for Kite Flying on the Dunstable Downs. You can still go and fly and enjoy the amazing views and we fully encourage you too.
Thank you for being part of our high flying Journey.
Totally not surprised after last year,it was a complete shambles,I attended sat or sun can’t remember which as i wanted to forget, single line kite flyers had the smallest space ever,why the biggest area of the field was reserved for stunt kites I don’t know. As for for the flyers portaloos which seemed to be for anybody including joe public and the marquee that was meant for flyers with lunch and buffet supplied which ended up collecting your own food from a pickup truck by the shop that’s if you were told about it was a complete mess. They wasted a lot of money inviting a flying team from germany which much of wasted most of the funds who never really seemed to show much 😂 Saved me a trip there anyway. I really liked the venue but the organisation sucked big time.