The organisers of the annual Happy Days Beckett Festival in Enniskillen have confirmed that the event will not take place this summer due to a lack of funding.
Over the past four years, the festival has celebrated the work and influence of Samuel Beckett, who attended Portora Royal. It attracted visitors from as far as Los Angeles, Paris, and Tokyo. Enniskillen-born actor Adrian Dunbar has been heavily involved in promoting the festival, held from July to August, since its inception in 2012.
In a statement, festival director Sean Doran said: “Sadly we have to announce that we are unable to present a 5th Happy Days Beckett Festival in Enniskillen this summer. This is due to the loss of one of our core funders. We considered the option of a shorter and smaller festival with the support of our other funders but the festival would have been too pressed financially to reach the standards you have come to expect in the past four years.”
He added: “We know this will be disappointing news for our audience who, in the last four years, have come from all over the world to support us, and similarly to our wonderfully committed local audience in Enniskillen and throughout Northern Ireland.”
Mr Doran said that while the event has come a long way in a very short space of time, it has been an uphill task year on year to sustain an international arts festival to the highest of standards with limited funding in a regional rural location.
“We would like to reassure our audiences that this announcement is not intended as a cessation. The Board and ourselves will now try to persuade our core funders, and indeed new funders, to help us secure a more stable financial future so that we can resume to deliver these three great festivals west of the Bann – Beckett, Wilde and Friel, in Fermanagh, Tyrone, Derry and Donegal.”
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Posted: 4:00 pm June 8, 2016