Buxton’s operetta festival to fall silent after 20 years

Buxton Opera House during the Gilbert and Sullivan Festival that follows the main summer festival
Buxton Opera House during the Gilbert and Sullivan Festival that follows the main summer festival

Buxton’s hotels and restaurants fear they will be left out of pocket following the shock announcement that the Gilbert and Sullivan Festival is to leave the town after 20 years.

Festival chairman Ian Smith declared this will be the final year the festival will be held in Buxton, putting the move down to increased costs at Buxton Opera House and reduced funding from High Peak Borough Council.

In a letter, he said: “We have enjoyed almost every minute of the 20 years that we have been in Buxton and have been delighted at the support that we have received from hoteliers, guest house owners and the bars and restaurants in town.”

Ian Howarth, of the Queen’s Head Hotel, in High Street, Buxton, said the festival leaving Buxton was likely to have an adverse effect on local businesses.

“It’s going to cost the town,” he said. “I have people who have been return customers for years and years and now I am going to lose them – that’s a lot of money.”

Mr Howarth added the more people that came to Buxton the more money local businesses made and the better it would be for the economy.