STRATFORD Food Festival is back on the menu – six weeks later than originally planned.
The festival will now go ahead on the revised dates of October 28 and 29, instead of the original dates of September 16 and 17.
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’.
But Stratford Upon Avon BID has saved the event at the eleventh hour by appointing local company LSD Promotions to run the event.
A BID spokesperson said: “This week Cocker Hoop Creative informed the BID company that they would be cancelling the event, which led to widespread disappointment amongst residents, businesses and local traders.
“With just 11 days to go until the event, Stratford Upon Avon BID were left with the choice of either postponing and working with a new company to deliver the festival or cancelling the event altogether. We did not consider cancelling to be option as we had made a commitment to local businesses to deliver a two-day Food Festival in town this year.
“Although the revised dates are six weeks later than originally planned, we have been exploring alternative options to ensure the festival still goes ahead, as it is a popular and well supported event in Stratford-upon-Avon.
“We needed a dependable food festival specialist who are familiar with the town and able to step in and deliver with a very short turn around window.
“LSD Promotions’ local knowledge, experience in delivering events and festivals in Stratford-upon-Avon and their willingness and ability to step in at such short notice has been welcomed by the BID Board.
“LSD Promotions will focus on the artisan food and drink offer over the two-day event and Stratford Upon Avon BID will organise the festivities and entertainment.”
BID Chairman Rich Jones said he was delighted the BID’s Food Festival would still go ahead.
He added: “I encourage traders disappointed by the cancelation earlier this week to join us on the revised dates.
“BID levy payers selling food and drink can still benefit from a free pitch including gazebo, subject to application and conditions.”
Cocker Hoop Creative had been brought in for the first time to help boost the event.
Cancelling the original event earlier this week, a Cocker Hoop Creative spokesperson said: “This has been an extremely tough decision to make and over the last few days we have been working with Stratford BID in trying to find a workable solution to the issues we have raised, however this has not been fruitful.
“As a team we are truly upset by our decision. We have tried everything to make this work this year and I can only apologise for the news.”
Earlier this year, both the Stratford Festival of Motoring and Stratford River Festival were cancelled – which the BID said was a result of financial constraints.
Stallholders can book a place at the rearranged Food Festival at www.lsdpromotions.com/stratford-upon-avon-1