It will be up to the people of Rotorua to decide if they want the Lakeside concert to continue after the Rotorua Energy Charitable Trust (RECT) cut its funding to the free annual event, organisers say.

RECT donated $50,000 to the weekend's concert, which was $70,000 less than its usual donation.

The reserves are now empty and additional funding will be needed to keep the show going.

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RECT trustee Jo-Anne La Grouw said there was a future for the trust's relationship with Lakeside, but it would not be to the level it had been.

"We have donated about $120,000 a year for a long time, over the years we have given well over $1 million to the concert."

She said RECT's priority of funding events had come to an end.

"We have a new strategy for what we're aiming to fund and one of those is to get all school-age children reading and writing at their age level.

"I don't think any event should rely on any one funder, they should be able to stand on their own two feet."

She said the conversation needed to go back to the community around how Lakeside could be funded.

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"I don't think local businesses support Lakeside very well.

"It's something the tourist industry should look to support, with town being so busy it's a good thing for them."

She said it might even be time to make it a paid event.

"If 20,000 people come, even at just $2 each that's a lot of money."

Lakeside Concert Charitable Trust chairman Ian Edward said ultimately it was for the people of Rotorua to decide if Lakeside still added value to the community.

"This is a jewel in Rotorua's crown and it is up to people to decide if they want it."

He said if RECT was put to the side the majority of the remaining funding came from pokie proceeds, not from the local community.

"The budget remained the same [for 2018], we had made the commitment to carry on the show even after the news came from RECT and we have used up all of the reserves we had.

"It is a significant amount of money that's for sure, but as far as I'm aware, there is nothing else like this concert in the country."

RECT chairman Stewart Edward, brother of Ian Edward, is also on the Lakeside Concert Charitable Trust.

"When the grant application came in, I left the room and had no participation in the vote.

"The proposal was similar to previous years and $50,000 was given by RECT."

He said a meeting would be held between the two trusts to discuss the future of the event.

"Lakeside will have to be a lot more pro-active to get funding certainty ahead of next year's concert.

"People underestimate how much work is required and I think a lot of people go along blissfully unaware of that."

Rotorua mayor Steve Chadwick said she didn't feel it was appropriate for her to comment on the issue as mayor because she was also a trustee for Lakeside. She said she wouldn't comment as a trust member as the chairman spoke on its behalf.