ONE of South Lakeland's most popular music events could be forced to close because of cost increases.

Organisers of Kirkby Lonsdale Brass Band Contest say it will not go ahead this summer unless more sponsors come forward.

Spokesman Tom Peak said: "In recent years, our fundraising has not kept pace with our spiralling costs and so, despite economies and extra effort, we have lost money the last couple of years and we simply cannot continue in this way."

He said an additional £1,000 needed to be raised this year - the 26th since the contest was launched - to pay the higher costs. Principal expenses include insurance, the hire of a cover for the bands to play under, the St John Ambulance Service, hire of the town institute where bands prepare, an outdoor PA system and prizes.

Mr Peak said an admission fee for the public could not be charged because the concert is held in the Market Square, a public space.

"We charge an entry fee for our competing bands but they pay significant monies for transport, so increasing the entry charge or reducing prize money may mean even fewer bands."

Appealing for new sponsorship, Mr Peak said the contest attracted visitors to the town from across the north of England, contributing to the town's income.

If you can help, contact Mr Peak at or call 07768 396839.