ORGANISERS of Mirfield Show have been fighting a backlash from angry traders who cannot have stalls at the event due to high demand.
The show committee received 150 applications for stalls, but there are only 50 pitches available.
Now some of the disappointed applicants have started criticising the volunteers who run the show, posting angry messages online and sending unpleasant emails.
Show publicity officer Coun Richard Hartley said: “There have been some very, very hard decisions.
“One hundred rejection letters went out and people began posting on Facebook, annoyed, saying they were going to boycott the show and they were disgusted.”
Organisers gave priority to local applicants and rejected stalls that were too similar to others.
Mr Hartley said: “We are a group of volunteers doing it all year round for free and it seems harsh to be criticised by businesses.
“Sometimes you feel like saying, ‘If you can do it better, come and join us, because we always need volunteers’.” Last year only around 60 stall-holders applied to fill 40 pitches.
Mr Hartley said demand for stalls had increased because the show, this year held on Sunday August 19, had become so popular – around 14,000 people went to last year’s event.
But the show is unlikely to move from the showground in Huddersfield Road.
“It has always been at the showground since the show started 70 years ago,” Mr Hartley said.
“You look at other venues, but there are not many other venues in Mirfield, so then you look at moving it out of Mirfield, but then it would stop being Mirfield Show.”