WARWICK Folk Festival, one of the UK’s top roots music events, will not be taking place this year.
Festival organisers this week took the decision to postpone the popular weekend gathering until 2022 in the light of the latest government announcements and Covid safety concerns.
Under the guidelines of the government’s roadmap a reduced capacity crowd were to have enjoyed a full programme of music and entertainment on the new festival site alongside Warwick Castle from July 15 to 18.
The festival’s managers and volunteers had been working hard for months to ensure the weekend could go ahead with increased safety measures and full social-distancing, but the latest delay in relaxing restrictions together with mounting cases of the new Delta variant, forced a re-think.
Government guidelines had already prompted organisers to cut numbers, provide extra space for camping, bring in an app system for avoiding bar queues, open the stages to allow airflow and offer hand sanitisers across the site. But the new July date for ending restrictions brought added pressure.
Festival Director Dick Dixon said the decision had been a tough one to make, but that safety concerns had to be paramount.
“So much hard work by so many people has gone into getting the festival ready and it’s heart-breaking to take the decision to postpone. We take the safety and well-being of our audience, our artists, our own staff and the local community extremely seriously and we felt the potential risk in going ahead would be too great,” he said.
“We looked at all the measures we could take to keep going but we have to think of the bigger picture and protecting everyone from the risks of a local surge in cases.”
The festival’s management team has started the process of postponing this summer’s event and is hoping many acts will roll-over into next year. Ticket holders can find information on the festival’s website and through social media channels.
This year’s gathering, itself held over from last year, was to have been the first at the new site.
Festival Chairman John Plumb said the event would bounce back from the disappointment of not going ahead and that work was already beginning on next year’s weekend.
“Our new site will offer a fabulous experience for folk fans. We hope to have a first-class line up and more when we return next year. The disappointment of not being able to go ahead this year will soon translate into making sure 2022 is a festival to remember.”
Further details can be found on the festival website www.warwickfolkfestival.co.uk