Organisors of the Barnaby festival have introduced a ten per cent sales tax on art galleries and artists taking part in the 2014 edition, as it seeks to bolster the longterm sustainability of the event.
The charge, which has caused some consternation in the art world and has already played a part in one of the town’s key galleries deciding not to participate in this year’s art trail, came as something of a surprise to the town’s galleries. However, given the success the festival and the number of visitors the art trail attracts the move is regarded by trustees as prudent.

Charges on gallery sales for those taking part in festivals are widespread in the UK and given the fact that most art galleries sell on a commission basis it is possible that the ten per cent will be split between artist and gallery. Artists who show individually regard commission payments as the norm.

Festival organisors were keen to stress that the move was part of long-term plans to make the Barnaby self sufficient, at present it is seen as over-reliant on the efforts of dozens of volunteers.

A more detailed version of this story appears in Macclesfield Today – Out Now