Organisers keep their job despite anti-social behaviour at last year's Whitstable Oyster Festival

Contributed by editor on Feb 21, 2017 - 06:05 AM

The Event Umbrella has been selected to organise this year’s Whitstable Oyster Festival for the fourth consecutive year.

Canterbury City Council's decision followed a comprehensive tender process in which three bids were submitted.

This year’s festival, which will run from Saturday 22 to Monday 24 July, will be considerably scaled back compared to the 2016 event, after which concerns were raised by residents about issues including noise, anti-social behaviour and litter.

Avoid repeat of last year


A council officer group has been set up to ensure a more proactive approach to licensing, enforcement, waste and parking for the duration of the 2017 event, with the aim of avoiding a repeat of any of the festival and non-festival issues that arose last year.


The Event Umbrella has organised the festival for four years between 2013 and 2016.


Coordinated effort is required

Chairman of the council’s Community Committee, Cllr Neil Baker, said: “We listened very closely to the town’s residents about what happened last year. Many of the problems were not caused by the festival itself but by secondary activities. However, we accept that a more coordinated effort is required by the council to limit the negative impact on Whitstable, and that work is already underway.

“We believe it’s possible to have a festival that people can have a good time at, and where we can celebrate the best of Whitstable’s traditions, and also avoid the trouble we saw last year. Everyone involved in the 2017 event will be working hard to achieve this.”


Very happy

A spokesperson for The Event Umbrella said: “We are very happy to have the opportunity to continue working with the council on a festival that is extremely important to us. As residents of the town, the community and its cultural and economic development have always been at the heart of what we do and we will continue to build upon the festival roots to create an event the whole town can enjoy and be proud of.”

The Event Umbrella will organise the festival alongside the Whitstable Oyster Festival Association (WOFA), an independent group of volunteers, who support the festival in a wide range of ways including advice, generating interest from businesses and assisting with fundraising.

The council’s consultation into the future of its three festivals – Whitstable Oyster Festival, Canterbury Food and Drink Festival and the Herne Bay Festival – from 2018 onwards is continuing.

Top photo by Doug (click the image for details)


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