New charges enable Midfest to continue

Crowds enjoying last year's Midfest Family Fun Day in Dalkeith
Crowds enjoying last year's Midfest Family Fun Day in Dalkeith

Charges have been introduced for the previously free Midfest Family Fun Day, to enable the annual arts festival to continue.

With visitor figures to Midlothian’s annual September arts festival rising, councillors agreed at the recent full council meeting that it will go ahead in 2016, despite the council’s current financial challenges.

In a bid to offset costs, councillors agreed to introduce a charge for adults at the Midfest Family Fun Day at Dalkeith Country Park. Children will still get in for free. However, a pre-booked adult ticket will be £3, rising to £5 on the day.

Councillors heard that the two main events, Midstock music festival in Dalkeith Country Park, which is supported by the council, and the council-run Family Fun Day, are attracting growing numbers of visitors as the arts festival enters its fourth year.

Around 4,500 people came to Midstock in 2015, up from 3,500 the previous year.

An estimated 7,000 people attended the Midfest Family Fun Day, more than 1,500 more than the previous year. This event was held the day after Midstock.

Around 2,000 people came along to individual arts events across Midlothian throughout the week.

Speaking at the meeting, SNP councillor Derek Rosie said: “I think this has proved to be a successful event for Midlothian, as we can see from the increased numbers. I would like the event to continue as it does bring visitors into Midlothian.

“We are going to get a benefit from the money that the council is putting in.”

The council will also continue to look for sponsorship and other funding opportunities to help meet the estimated £25,000 running costs.