GROUPS and individuals planning to stage events for next year's Leek Arts Festival are being warned of tight new deadlines for their details to feature in the Festival programme.
Following a major review of their administration procedures, festival organisers are planning to have the printed programme ready for distribution by the end of February 2014 – two months earlier than in the past.
That means details of all events planned for next year's Festival need to be submitted to the organisers no later than January 31.
Festival spokesman Phil Edmeades explained: "We want to get the promotion of next year's Leek Arts Festival under way much sooner than we have in the past in a bid to maximise the potential publicity and increase audience figures.
"The main reason for delays in previous years has been the slow arrival of information from local groups and individuals who want their events to feature in the Festival.
"By setting this strict – and much earlier deadline – we hope to focus people's attention and to have that information ready to go to print by the end of February." Information about events can be submitted online via the Festival website at www.leekartsfestival.org - see Include Your Event link at foot of the homepage.
The same link will take visitors to new Terms & Conditions for people who want their events to feature in the 2014 Leek Arts Festival programme.
Mr Edmeades added: "As the festival has grown it has become evident that the festival committee needs more control over the way events are planned.
"The new terms and conditions are not particularly onerous and simply make it clear what is expected from anyone organising an event for the festival and what they can expect in terms of support from the committee."
Acts already confirmed for Leek Arts Festival 2014 include Richard Digance, Mark Radcliffe, The Situation Big Music Day, The Roving Crows, Free Folk Day and Fairport Convention.
Tickets for many artists will shortly be available for purchase from the festival website.