Fluid Motion Theatre Company said it has been forced to cancel this year’s All in the Mind Festival in Hampshire as the charity is facing a funding crisis.

The festival’s visitor numbers were up 50% in 2022, but Fluid Motion said funding cuts, fewer donations and a lack of corporate sponsors has led to the cancellation, with both the charity and event at risk of closure.

The Basingstoke festival, which last year hosted 6,000 attendees, features family-friendly performances and interactive activities to promote the power of the arts to boost mental health.

Speaking to the Basingstoke Gazzette, Fluid Motion and All in the Mind Festival artistic director, Leigh Johnstone said, “With the country facing a mental health and cost of living crisis – and town centres struggling to attract footfall – it’s devastating that we can’t deliver this free event when it’s most needed.

“We’re passionate about how the arts can boost mental health – whether you’re the audience or a performer – and All in the Mind Festival gets that message across in an uplifting, inspiring way that speaks to people of all ages.

“Feedback from our audiences was always so positive, including how refreshing it is that the event was free when festivals and days out have become a luxury for many families. To keep All in the Mind Festival free we rely on the generosity of funders and kind donations from the public, but the day is by no means free to run and takes a team of us months to organise.

“Unfortunately, this year, we simply don’t have the money to make the festival happen. We hope it can make a return in the future, but with Fluid Motion’s future also hanging in the balance, we can’t promise it will.”

Appealing for donations, Johnstone added, “While we might not be able to save All in the Mind Festival, we’re grateful for any donations to help us continue our work to empower people to explore their emotions, express themselves and, above all, feel better.

“Mental wellbeing affects us all, and every penny we raise helps more people engage with the arts to boost their mental health.”