The report indicated that the event organiser, Solo, is asking for a reduction on the cost it pays the council. Currently, Solo pay £55,000 per annum for use of Seaclose Park, the festival site, and also hold a bond of £26,00 for the replacement of repair of any damage to the park during the event. As it stands, that money is spent by the council on areas outside the delivery on the festival; it is only just breaking even on expenditures such as traffic management in the Halberry Lane area, additional toilet facilities in East Cowes, as well as CCTV pockets and more.
The council will be meeting with Solo in the coming days (October 13) to discuss the possible outcomes; either to not review the current terms of license with Solo for the use of the park in 2017, or to revise the terms of agreement.
“If the council decided not to vary or waive the annual payment for the use of Seaclose Park there is a risk that Solo may decided to not stage the Isle of Wight festival in 2017,” states the council’s report.
A statement released by the council following the report, read: “The Isle of Wight Council has worked closely with Solo Promoters Ltd over the past 15 years to facilitate the Isle of Wight Festival, which generates around £10 million per year to the Island’s economy.
“The council was approached by Solo with a request to vary the terms to its current agreement to use Seaclose Park – and has a responsibility to its residents to consider the request openly and transparently. As a result a report was due to be considered by the council’s executive on Thursday October 13 containing a wide range of background information to help inform councillors in their decision-making.
“The council would like to make it clear that it has not, as reported, said that ticket sales have decreased. In fact ticket sales have seen a significant increase in recent years. However, the report does make it clear that the costs of staging the festival are increasing and as such Solo incur many additional running costs each year beyond simply booking the acts.
“The report sought to make it clear that Solo has two choices regarding the increasing costs – to reduce its running costs or to raise ticket prices. Solo has always been committed to offering their festivalgoers the best value for money and do not believe it’s fair that the fans are the ones left to contribute to rising costs, hence its approach to the council to vary the terms of the current agreement.”
Following the report, it has since been reported that Solo has dropped its request to waive the fee.