ORGANISERS of the Seafront Spectacular have defended charging entry to the event after an Internet offensive was launched.
A campaign against being charged entry to the Victoria Park for the Spectacular has been formed on the social networking site Facebook, and is gaining support.
Saturday’s thrilling show cost £5 for adults and £2 for children and the organisers stress that the extravaganza costs so much to put on that the charges are necessary.
Howard Cargill, a director of Arbroath Events which organises and administers the Seafront Spectacular, added that some shows in the north east of Scotland charge even more for admission.
But the campaign to not be charged £5 to enter the Victoria Park and visit stalls patrons have to pay for is gaining momentum.
One visitor to the site said: “Prices are just ridiculous! It should be free entry. Folk pay enough when they go in.”
Another added: “What a fantastic day, but I’ll not be paying all that to get in, especially when people were coming down from the grass verges. They had the right idea!
An objector stated: “I didn’t go this year. There was no way I was paying those prices. It was a total rip off. The first few years it was free and it was amazing, then they started charging to get in and it went downhill from there.”
Someone else who didn’t attend commented: “I have been every year since it started (and spent a fortune inside each time). This was the first year I didn’t go and was annoyed because I wanted to. I just completely refused to pay entry prices of £5 adult and £2 child.”
And another dissenter said: “I first went when the Red Arrows and the Tornado came and I haven’t been since but I wouldn’t have paid the prices they charged this year even if I did want to go. Times are hard.
“Why didn’t they charge say £10 a car. I think that would have been reasonable, bearing in mind they would have charged a fair bit to the traders, etc., for pitches.
“We had a pitch in the first and second year and we paid around £250 for it. I dread to think what they charged this year.”
Mr Cargill responded: “The costs are getting to be phenomenal. This year the budget to present the Seafront Spectacular was £51,000 and a very high percentage of the total was taken up by health and safety costs such as hiring toilets, barriers, policing costs, insurance, etc.
“The acts that we had this year cost about £15,000 and it all has to be paid for.
“We are very aware that things are tight in this financial climate but it is either have the show or not have the show.
“We thought that for one of the biggest annual shows in the north-east of Scotland a £5 entry fee was not excessive. There are other shows which charge substantially more.
“This year we gave away a free programme which offset the price increase. Last year the programme cost £2 so, effectively, if you paid to come in last year and bought a programme, the cost this year was just £1 more.”