THE next local festival season for Worcestershire is in jeopardy as a unique marquee and stage has been stolen.
Unless the large purple and yellow marquee and the twin axle trailer that folds out to be a split level stage are found, next year's festivals like Upton Blue Festival, Blues at The Fold, Jinney Ring Blues Festival and the Taurus Festival will not be able to go ahead.
Owned and run by Jigsaw Community Festivals of Alfrick, a not-for-profit organisation which sets out to bring nationally acclaimed live music to rural Worcestershire, Warwickshire and Gloucestershire, the stage and marquee were taken from The Fold at Bransford, Worcester.
Ready for the Blues at Broom Hill event last weekend, Oliver Carpenter went to pick up the equipment on Friday, August 29, to find it had gone.
"We had a festival this weekend so I went to pick the trailer up on Friday morning but it had gone - stolen sometime between August 14 and 29.
"The kit was completely unique and designed by us to make delivering small festivals of around 500 attendees easy and simple in rural locations. Owning the marquee and stage meant we could put on events either ourselves or in conjunction with other people that would otherwise have been very difficult to afford to put on across Worcestershire."
Not only was the stage and marquee used to deliver festivals but it was also used for a number of other one-off charitable and not-for-profit events, many which may not be able to go ahead unless the equipment is found.
"We are obviously concerned that the metalwork will be scrapped and the trailer broken down, while the marquee and stage are much more valuable if they are kept in tact. Equally, unless it is returned we may be unable to make the planned donation of around £2,000 to The World Land Trust - an organisation that protects rainforest buy buying it and protecting it in perpetuity - following a successful festival season which would be a real disappointment after the hard work of the summer."
Jigsaw Community Festivals is appealing for anyone with information to get in touch with West Mercia Police on the non-emergency number 101, quoting incident 495S of August 29.