FINANCIAL troubles and a lack of support have forced organisers to cancel this year's Belbroughton Scarecrow Festival.

The popular family festival, which was last year named the best event of its kind in the UK, sees up to 30,000 people flock to the village each year, as hundreds of straw-stuffed creations go on display to raise money for charities.

But in a post on the festival's Facebook page on June 6, organisers declared that the 2018 event had been cancelled.

The announcement has been met by upset and disappointment from regular festival-goers, with several agreeing the event had become 'too commercial and too expensive'.

Si Anderson commented: "It started out as a little village doing something unique to raise a bit of money for charity. Now because of how commercialised it’s become, it’s no longer viable to serve its original purpose."

Bromsgrove Advertiser:

Warren Davies also wrote: "Went when it first started and used to be able to park outside the butchers it was that small. As soon as you started charging per car we stopped coming. Became too big."

Organisers have since confirmed to the Advertiser that the decision to cancel was made in response to the festival committee having 'no money in the bank', and due to harsh criticism of last year's event, which saw profits decimated by bad weather and parking difficulties.

Committee member Michelle Brown said: "We've had quite a few committee members leave and it's such a huge event, so we did um and ah about whether or not to hold last year's festival, but we took a vote and decided to go ahead.

"Unfortunately Velo came along and stole our date, so we had to hold the festival the weekend after, which meant the village was disrupted for two weekends in a row. So we didn't receive as warm a welcome as we normally do.

Bromsgrove Advertiser:

"The weather was horrendous so several stall holders didn't turn up and we had to give a lot of refunds, but still had to pay for traffic management and security, so we ended up with no money in the bank.

"We received a lot of criticism and just felt a bit worn down.

"All the committee members do this in their own time and no one gains financially, and we just don't have the right kind of support at the moment."

The committee is now looking to take on more members ahead of 2019's festival, which organisers say will be 'scaled back' to a village event, focusing on scarecrows.

Michelle added: "The festival has been a victim of its own success. It's grown organically but we've always tried to keep it traditional."

The committee is set to meet in October to make a final decision on next year's event. Anyone interested in volunteering should email