THE FIGHT is on to save Stratford Food Festival.
Organisers Stratford BID were left shellshocked when event planners Cocker Hoop Creative informed them on Monday evening (September 4) that they were no longer able to put on the event due to various “issues”.
And now the BID team is holding emergency talks to see if the festival can still go ahead next weekend.
A spokesperson for Stratford BID said: “We are surprised and disappointed that Cocker Hoop Creative has decided to pull out of organising this event at this eleventh hour. We are currently in talks with other possible providers to see if there is any way the event can go ahead as scheduled or at a later date.”
A message from Cocker Hoop Creative, sent out to Stratford businesses and later posted on Stratford Forum’s Facebook page, reads: “I am sorry to inform you that we have taken the decision to postpone this year’s Stratford Food Festival.
“This has been an extremely tough decision to make and over the last few days we have been working with the chief executive of Stratford BID, our partners in the activity, in trying to find a workable solution to the issues we have raised, however this has not been fruitful.
“As a team we have been working really hard to deliver the event for the town, in a similar vein to our Lichfield Festivals and as such are truly upset by our decision.
“We will be back with the Stratford Food Festival 2024 bigger and better.
“We have tried everything to make this work this year and I can only apologise for the news.”
Stratford Food Festival was due to be held on the weekend of September 16 and 17 and was to be a celebration of the town’s food and drink scene, alongside appearances from special guests from the Great British Bake Off.
Cocker Hoop Creative had been brought in for the first time to help elevate the event.
The news follows cancellation earlier this year of both the Stratford Festival of Motoring and Stratford River Festival – which BID said was a result of financial constraints.
Back in April BID was also unsure whether Stratford Food Festival would go ahead this autumn, but until this week it appeared safe.