One of the biggest festivals in Gloucestershire’s summer calendar has been cancelled.
According to Tewkesbury Borough Council, organisers of Witcombe Cider Festival made the decision to cancel the event after they were given advice from council officers.
The festival in Brockworth was due to take place at the end of the month, from Friday August 28 to August 31 after the Government sanctioned outdoor performances such as concerts, opera and plays from July 11.
Witcombe Festival organisers made an announcement on Twitter of the planned go-ahead following the Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden’s announcement on July 9.
The event has grown to become a firm fixture on the music festival calendar. With 10,000 attendees over August Bank Holiday Weekend, Over 50 Ciders and national artists.
Festival Statement – 02/08/2020
It is with a heavy heart that we are today announcing the cancellation of the Witcombe Festival 2020. Normally, at this time of year, we would have been starting the build of the festival itself, measuring out for the stages and marquees and moving forward on planning for one of the best festivals of the summer.
We had hoped things would of been much by better now, but sadly, it has become clear that delivering the event you have come to expect from us is just not possible in the current climate. We have been working continuously with all our local authorities over the last few months to plan for a safe, socially-distanced festival where festival goers could book their picnic table online, order drinks via an app and enjoy entertainment in a surround sound picnic bench-style theatre.
However, the health and safety of the public, staff and our community has and always will be our number one priority. We are extremely grateful to the NHS and all our key workers for their hard work keeping us safe during the pandemic, many of whom are Witcombe regulars.
There is nothing more we love doing than putting this event on for you all to enjoy on the August bank holiday weekend, and we are just as disappointed as you that we won’t be able to this year. If you have already purchased a ticket for the event, you can roll the ticket over to 2021 festival or claim a refund. The choice is yours. For ticket enquires https://ww2.theticketsellers.co.uk
We thank you for your understanding, and make no mistake, we will be back bigger and better in 2021. See you all next year, until then, please keep safe and healthy. The Witcombe Team
Safety guidelines from the Government involved a reduced capacity, social distancing between performers and increased cleaning of auditoriums. Tewkesbury Borough Council is claiming there were concerns surrounding “potential risks” that were raised with the organisers.
Head of community services at the borough council, Peter Tonge, said:
The decision to cancel was one that the organisers took after liaising with our licensing officers. The organisers were told about the potential risks and subsequently decided that they didn’t want to proceed. For this type of event, licensing officers and environmental health officers form part of a Safety Advisory Group – made up of other partners such as the police and emergency services – who advise on safety at events. We are pleased that they have taken this decision to protect the health of attendees, staff and the local community.