Sheffield’s Fright Night Hallowe’en celebrations, which traditionally attracts up to 40,000 visitors, is being dropped this year.
After facing a series of financial and other issues, organisers have decided to “rest” the event with a view to it returning in 2015.
It will be the first break in 13 years, during which time Fright Night has grown to be the biggest Hallowe’en celebration in the country.
“We are going to do a Glastonbury where they take a break every few years and recharge the batteries,” said Scott Barton, of organisers Yellow Bus Events, referring to the music festival.
At the same time, much smaller scale Hallowe’en activities - without street closures and bigger fairground rides - are likely to be held in the city centre. But it will not go under the name of Fright Night, which sees rides, stalls and other entertainment take over a large part of the city centre, with Sheffield people, and visitors from much further afield, entering into the spirit of the occasion and dressing the part. Organisation has become increasingly difficult as the event, which is free to the public, has grown and funds have become more difficult to secure.
Council grants have been cut and organisers have been worried about the risk of police charging for their services. It is hoped taking a break for a year will give time to resolve the policing issue.
Scott said: “We are a small team and it takes it out of us every year. Planning starts in January which is why the decision has to be made now.”
Council cabinet member Isobel Bowler said Fright Night was “a fantastic community event”, but a joint decision had been made to take a break this year. “We will use the year off to look at options for a Hallowe’en event focussed on families and younger children. We hope Fright Night will return in 2015.”