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Popular festival may have to find a new home

Performers take to the stage at the 2016 event
Performers take to the stage at the 2016 event

A popular music festival which has grown to become Scotland’s fourth biggest of its kind could be forced out of Fife, it has emerged.

The PKD Festival, which is held at Dalgety Bay Sports Centre, has grown in size and stature over the past eight years and attracts people from miles around each summer.

But The Courier has learned that the event is effectively homeless after Fife Sports and Leisure Trust – which operates the centre – introduced a new policy on alcohol.

Other sites for the 2017 event are now being looked at but have their own logistical problems, while offers from elsewhere in Scotland – namely Livingston and Kinross – are also being seriously considered.

However, organisers have now pleaded with Trust chiefs to make the PKD Festival an exception to the new rules and retain its original home.

The family festival, which this year attracted retro acts including S Club, boyband 911 and indie stars Space, started life as a pushkart derby but has been rebranded Promoting Kinship Day, with profits going towards community projects in Fife.

“We’ve just been nominated for Outdoor Festival of the Year, alongside the likes of T in the Park, and that’s big kudos for us, but it seems as if Fife Sports and Leisure Trust are sticking to their guns,” organiser Mark Bennett said.

“The sense of kinship this festival brings in is incredible and it’s not just from Dalgety Bay, people from all over Europe come. We’ve got a group from Belgium who time their holidays to come here, oil workers who actually book their time off work to come and be involved.

“It really brings everyone together but unfortunately we don’t own the land.

“What we would love is for the general public to persuade Fife Sports and Leisure Trust to make an exception for Dalgety Bay Sports and Leisure Centre.”

Other local venues such as Dunfermline Glen have been mooted.

Mr Bennett said: “It would be a great venue and I’m not beholden to the initials PKD. I’m happy to call it Fifefest, the Festival of Fife, or whatever, as long as the profits continue to go into the community where we hold it.”

Having said that, Mr Bennett revealed he has received messages of support from throughout the community and hopes PKD will stay put.

“People have been rallying around and we’ve been overwhelmed and humbled by it,” he added.

“It does bring a tear to your eye.

“But it’s not our decision.”

A Fife Sports and Leisure Trust spokesperson confirmed that it had reviewed its booking conditions, in part due to an increase in requests for the hire of facilities where alcohol would be sold at an event.

“Following wider consultation with its board of directors, it was decided that the trust would no longer accept bookings for hire of its facilities where alcohol would be sold or consumed,” it added.

“This policy fully reflects the trust’s commitment to improve the health of Fifers and promote and raise awareness of the links between activity and improved physical and mental health and wellbeing across Fife’s communities.

“Bookings which entail the sale and consumption of alcohol are completely at odds with our health improvement agenda and the work that we undertake with NHS Fife and other partners.

“We are sorry to lose bookings, particularly ones where organisers of events have had an established relationship with the trust, however, we have suggested the PKD Festival organisers may which to approach Fife Council to find alternative facilities for them to host their event.”

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