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Former Ludlow Festival chiefs said no to Olly Murs

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The former organisers of Ludlow Festival turned down an offer to stage a concert by Olly Murs, it was claimed last night.

Radio station boss Muff Murfin, who chaired a meeting last night at Ludlow Brewery, said the festival had been offered Olly Murs in concert for £7,000.

He said the offer had been turned down – but claimed the booking could have been taken and might have led to a profit of £40,000.

Another man at the meeting said the former managers of the festival could have made bigger profits and avoided losses by booking more popular artists for the final night concert.

Some of the people who turned up at the Ludlow Festival meeting

Tom Till, who runs Ludlow Castle, said officials now faced a race against the clock to make sure an event went ahead.

He said it was likely to include a pop concert at the end of the event.

Mr Till said: "We will be the ones who decide when the castle is available. If people have better ideas than the ones we have now, we would be very happy to hear them."

Di Lyles, from the Friends of Ludlow Festival, said an important element of the event would be the support of the community. She said a charity could work with businesses to make sure an event went ahead.

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Sara Pearce, who had been behind a proposal unveiled a week ago, said the festival was up for grabs and no decisions had yet been made. She said:

"It's up to the community to speak out now. They need to say what they want. We need to work together."

People at the meeting made criticisms of the former festival and said one of its problems was that prices were too high. Another was that there were insufficient events for young people.

Businesses were also told they should get involved by sponsoring events and underwriting concerts because they were the ultimate beneficiaries.

Anita Bigsby, who ran a fringe event at the festival, said there had to be events for all sectors of the community. Beth Heath, from Ludlow Spring Festival, said people needed to get on with putting on a festival.

Further talks will take place between Mr Till, Sara Pearce, Di Lyles, Anita Bigsby and a Tenbury Wells businessman to ensure a festival goes ahead.

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