The Broadway, in Haywards Heath, has been closed for a ‘last’ day of musical celebration but will the show go on?
Last Wave on the Broadway was the final Making Waves event put on by the live music festival charity called It’s Magic.
Run by well-known community man Tim French MBE and the charity’s events co-ordinators, the event has brought hundreds of people to the town, from across the country, for the past nine years.
The final event, from 11am until 10pm, on Sunday (August 30) was just as successful as previous years and was built around the Titanic theme ‘We will go on’.
Mr French, who has raised thousands of pounds for local good causes from his concerts, spoke of his pride for the event.
He said: “As a whole it was a success. We know that from the number of people that attended and kept coming and asking about it.
“Tim and his team have really put the Broadway music event on the map”
“It’s been a lovely journey. It’s been very fruitful from the enjoyment we see people getting from it, whether it’s from sitting, talking, eating, meeting their friends.
“Some people just sit and have a coffee and enjoy the atmosphere. The atmosphere is electric and that’s what makes it so special.
“One of my neighbours came up to me and said that he watches the youngsters with Jimmy the Juggling Jester. He said the joy on their faces was fantastic.”
It’s Magic is a charity that aims to uplift and entertain through music with the added aim of strengthening community values.
The charity relies on volunteers and local business support to provide good value and good music.
Mr French was awarded an MBE is in recognition of his services to the community in 2009.
Although Mr French has not said whether or not It’s Magic will renew its licence, he believed there was a good chance the idea will be re-mastered and rejuvenated.
“It needs a rethink,” he said. “Nothing goes on forever.”
In the last nine years, Mr French the event has received two £1,000 grants from Mid Sussex District Council but generally It’s Magic encourages businesses, media and volunteer support.
Any surplus funds raised are donated to local causes and charities. Those who have benefited include CAB, NSPCC, Headway Hurstwood Park, Shelter, St Andrew’s Community Centre and The Ashenground Community Centre, The Triangle Healing Centre and currently It’s Magic helps to promote the Princess Royal Hospital Campaign and other small charity events.
Garry Wall, co-owner of Orange Square restaurant, in the Broadway, stood on stage to thank and congratulate Mr French on the day.
After the event he said: “Tim French has to be congratulated for staging these music days for the past nine years.
“Organising any event on this scale is a massive undertaking but Tim and his team have really put the Broadway music event on the map.
”Not only are they a great opportunity for local traders to showcase their business but they succeed in bringing the community together. Sunday’s event was exceptional with several thousand attending; there really was something for everyone to enjoy”
Joy Madgwick, who has been a face painter at the event for seven of the nine events, explained her reasons for enjoying being a part of the event.
“It’s just such a good day for the town. We get different groups of singers every year so it’s a great variety and it’s just a really good day and gets everybody involved. It’s great!
“We couldn’t do it without Tim. We will keep bringing him out of retirement to put on these events.”
It’s Magic will next host an event called An Evening at the Opera at the Hub Theatre at Central Sussex College on Friday 11 September, 2015 7 for 7.30pm. Students and professionals from the Royal Academy of Music, London.will perform extracts from popular operas. Tickets available from www.itsmagic.org.uk and Baldwins South Road Haywards Heath