We were delighted to learn last week that our friends at the Drogheda Samba Festival have been successful in raising limited funding, which will allow the festival to go ahead this year.
In recent years, many festivals throughout the country have found it hard to maintain funding levels, despite many reports showing all the many benefits, financial and social that they bring to communities. In addition, we know that the Arts Council in Ireland doesn’t see samba as ‘a priority’ and have basically removed ALL funding from anything to do with the samba scene, so things haven’t been easy.
The Samba Festival does provide a focus for tourism, which could be further developed, and it also provides an important ‘check-in’ for the samba community, and something to aim for in terms of developing new repertoire, costumes, etc.
In addition, the feedback from the many international visitors last year (supported by the Gathering), was extremely positive, but somehow, this message doesn’t seem to percolate through to those making funding decisions here in Ireland.
Anyway, MaSamba is delighted to hear that we’re going to be back on the banks of the Boyne at the end of June. Further details here: http://droghedasamba.com