Steps taken to keep Crankfest on its feet

LOCAL krumpers and break dancers preparing for Casino's Crankfest may have to wait until next year to strut their stuff on stage.

The hip hop-based festival, which began as an annual event in 2005 and is known as the region's biggest youth arts celebration, may not take place in October as planned because of funding issues.

However, project coordinator for the Creative People Collective and one of the creators of Crankfest, Nadine Smith, said local hip-hop fans should not despair.

“We will definitely be organising a number of hip-hop projects and workshops in Casino this year, but it may not be on the same scale as Crankfest,” she said.

“This will depend on the outcome of discussions about the future of the event with surrounding councils.”

Richmond Valley Council's events and cultural liaison officer Peter Byrne said a lack of funding for Crankfest had made organisers consider merging the festival with other youth-based programs.

Mr Byrne said if Crankfest didn't happen this year because of a merging of local events, a similar program incorporating hip-hop based activities would take place to ensure no one would miss out.

“During the past three years Crankfest has established itself as a great festival, but to ensure that the event grows we realised that we had to attract more funding,” he said.

“By merging the event with other youth-based events organised by surrounding councils, especially those carried out in Youth Week, we will be able to ensure the sustainability of the event.”

Mr Byrne said the council had been in talks with organisers of the Evans Head Youth Festival over merging it with Crankfest, in order to keep the event local.

However, he said the council would not disregard offers of a combined youth week program from councils as far away as Tweed if it meant securing the future of the event.

“If events are moved out of the area we will make sure local young people will be able to attend by providing transport,” he said. “It's really important we engage local youth with these events and ensure their sustainability.”

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