Festival in Valley Gardens is called off

Flashback to a previous Happygate festival - Members of the singing group Altogether Now with their leader Chris Kemp and Harrogate's DJ Trev.  Also pictured is Knaresborough DJ Mike Atkinson. (1707233AM9)
Flashback to a previous Happygate festival - Members of the singing group Altogether Now with their leader Chris Kemp and Harrogate's DJ Trev. Also pictured is Knaresborough DJ Mike Atkinson. (1707233AM9)

A popular annual community arts festival which usually attracts thousands of people to Harrogate's Valley Gardens has been called off.

After two successful previous events which raised funds for local charities, this year's Happygate Festival will not now take place.
But the chief organiser said he hoped the community-led, independent arts and music day for all the family would return in 2019.
And he emphasised this year's disappointment was for personal reasons.
Gary Simmonds said: " "I have cancelled Happygate for this year due to personal circumstances which meant that I just haven't got the time to do it.
"There are a lot of issues taking up a lot of my time and energy. Hopefully, Happygate will be back again next year."
The date for the third Happygate of Sunday, July 8 was only set after fears it would not happen at al because of confusion over council administration fees and the amount of paper work involved with health and safety and security regulations.
But organisers said they were keen to continue after Harrogate Borough Council confirmed it would continue to support local charity and community events by offering free rental of the Valley Gardens.
Among the charities to benefit from Happygate in the past are Ependymoma, a children’s brain tumour research charity set up in memory of Chris Bramhall a local musician, and Craft Aid International, run by Susie Hart MBE, a Harrogate-based charity that enables, empowers and supports people with disabilities.