The popular Rickmansworth Festival is in danger of being cancelled this year due to soaring costs.
Since launching in 1993, the festival has expanded to occupy space at Rickmansworth Aquadrome, the towpath between Stockers Lock and Batchworth, and the area around Batchworth Lock.
Crowds of up to 30,000 attend the festival each year.
Traditionally held on the third Thursday of May, excitement in the build-up to this year’s event has been tempered by concerns that it may have to be cancelled.
Heritage education charity Rickmansworth Waterways Trust (RWT) would typically spend around £40,000 on hosting the event. This year, however, increasing bills mean costs have escalated to £70,000.
RWT general manager Mark Saxon said: “Times are tight. There are extra charges for power, lights, toilet hire, marquee hire, licensing… it all builds up.”
Despite the uncertainties surrounding this year’s event, there is “always optimism” from Mark and the organisers. More than 100 boats are expected to dock at Stockers Lock, including a number of historical narrowboats and RWT’s beloved canalboat, The Roger.
Four music stages are planned for the event on May 20 and 21, with another 110 stalls, a licensed bar, charity stand, and funfair booked in.
Six weeks before the event is to take place, RWT started a JustGiving page to fundraise the remaining £10,000 needed for the festival to go ahead.
A spokesperson for RWT said: “We have been working hard to bring you another amazing Ricky Festival. We know it’s a tricky year for many people and businesses, but if you can afford to help us put on this fantastic community event, every donation, however big or small, will help us to do that.”
At the time of writing, the fundraiser has received nearly £2,000.
To donate, head to bit.ly/3N1AgT2