East Grinstead’s fireworks display has been cancelled because people are not paying for tickets, organisers say.
East Grinstead Town Football Club has run the event at its ground at East Court since 1997 and has attracted thousands of visitors over the years.
But chairman Richard Tramontin says it is no longer viable to run the event because a major sponsor cannot be found and an ever increasing number of people watching the display for free from the East Court estate.
The club lost money at last year’s event.
“There are significant costs involved in staging the fireworks, not least of all is the display itself which is professionally run and superbly staged,” said Mr Tramontin.
“We also have to make sure the event is properly supervised in terms of stewarding and safety with detailed event plans and risk assessments approved by the police and other authorities.
“We have not increased admission prices since 2008 and people have turned up in good numbers.
“But for the last few years hundreds of people stand at the top of the East Court estate, overlooking the ground, and watch for free. We have tried to get a donation from people but the response has been lukewarm to say the least and in some cases pretty hostile.
“What these people have to realise is that by not paying like everyone else they have forced us to cancel an event we put on for the town. We don’t think that £15 for a family of four to watch a brilliant fireworks display is too much, but clearly some people do.
“We didn’t have a sponsor for the event in 2015 and that hit us hard. We are a not-for-profit football club and we have continuously invested more money into the event to make it even better.
“But unless we can find a sponsor and get some assistance from the town council to stop people from watching the event for free then I don’t think we will be running it in the future either.”
Businesses who would like to sponsor the town’s fireworks display in future can contact Mr Tramontin.
Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.
Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.
1) Make our website your homepage at www.crawleyobserver.co.uk
2) Like our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/crawleyobserver
3) Follow us on Twitter @Crawley_Obby
4) Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.
And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!
The Crawley Observer - always the first with your local news.
Be part of it.