A GROUP of local volunteers has launched a wristband campaign aimed at raising funds to keep a folk festival in Wimborne.
The red and white bands bearing the slogan 'Support Wimborne Folk' are now available to buy for just £1 each from various shops, pubs and other outlets around the town and for £2 each (including postage) at www.supportwimbornefolk .com.
All proceeds will go towards meeting the costs of a new, family-friendly weekend of folk music and dance next June.
Following the 2012 event, the organisers of the Wimborne Folk Festival announced they were retiring after 32 years. In just a few days, more than 3,000 people from around the world joined a Facebook group, 'Save the Wimborne Folk Festival', created by local resident James Marshall.
East Dorset District Council, which had backed the event for 20 years and has a year of a funding agreement remaining, called for volunteers to come forward to carry on the tradition of a folk festival in the town and held a well-attended community meeting in September.
A team of volunteer organisers made up of local residents, businesspeople and members of the folk community has now been established to develop a new festival under the name of the Wimborne Minster Folk Festival, which has been registered as a limited not-for-profit organisation.
The volunteers are committed to creating an event that supports local businesses and generates a safe, friendly atmosphere for families and people of all ages. They are currently developing a business plan with the aim of securing funding from local councils, the Wimborne BID and other potential sponsors.
Mike Carhart-Harris, volunteer PR and marketing coordinator, said:
"As local people, we could not imagine Wimborne without the 'folkie' and wanted to ensure it remains a vibrant fixture on our wonderful town's calendar for years to come.
"We are committed to seeing a future folk festival that offers a weekend of the finest folk music and dance from Britain and beyond while promoting local businesses, supporting the community and generating a warm, family friendly atmosphere around the town.
"The wristbands are a way for people to show their support or simply that they are proud to be 'Wimborne folk', as we are. They have already proved a big hit around the town and are sure to become the must-have accessory for 2013!"
The Allendale Centre is hosting a fundraising concert featuring O'Dalaigh's Band – who include original members of Dorset folk legends The Yetties – on Friday 14 December. Tickets are now available from the Allendale, with all proceeds going towards the Wimborne Minster Folk Festival.
For more information about the Wimborne Minster Folk Festival and the wristband campaign or to get in contact with the team, go to www.wimbornefolk.com