Hunstanton Lifestyles festival is set for revival after campaigners hit fundraising target

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Hunstanton’s Lifestyles Festival looks set for a comeback after a campaign to save the extreme sports event raised £20,500 in just 28 days.

Organisers announced today that the festival is provisionally expected to take place between September 19 and 21 after smashing their initial fundraising target this week.

The Lifestyles Association Committee said it was delighted it could now push ahead, but stressed the hard work continues to reach the £50,000 needed to stage the event.

Committee chairman Liz Pendleton said: “It’s fantastic to have reached almost the half way point, but we’ve got to keep up the momentum to raise the rest of the money.”

The festival was staged in Hunstanton every summer since 2005 and attracted crowds of around 12,000 people, but it was axed last year after West Norfolk Council decided it had become too big and costly to manage and handed organisation over to the volunteer committee.

Miss Pendleton said fundraising for this year’s event began last September, but it got to the make-or-break point last month and an online Crowdfunder campaign to raise the initial £20,500 was launched.

Crowdfunder invites individuals and businesses to pledge money in return for rewards, such as T-shirts and wristbands to VIP treatments and advertising. But the pressure was on, as Crowdfunder rules stated all donations must be forfeited if the target wasn’t reached by Wednesday.

The campaign saw a total of 39 financial pledges and three major sponsors being found.

Downham company Highline Extreme became the headline sponsor after pledging £10,000, Chicagos donated £5,000 for the music stage sponsorship and Vegas Fish Bar in Hunstanton supported the event with a pledge of £3,000.

Miss Pendleton said: “It’s crazy we did it in just 28 days.

“It’s a little bit hard to believe because it was always a question of managing our expectations, being aware that it might not happen, and knowing that it was a big risk to do it.

“The large sponsors made a big difference and we had our supporters’ evenings, but it’s been challenging. There’s been a couple of sleepless nights, but it’s just the best feeling to have done it.”

She added: “The support from Crowdfunding has been enough to resurrect the event.

“There’s a misconception the council should fund everything, but if people want something sometimes you need to help make it happen. Businesses will benefit from the event and they have recognised that.”