Boomtown Fair will not go ahead this August (Picture: Tom Martin)
Boomtown Fair has been axed for 2021 due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
The UK’s largest independent festival had been due to welcome 66,000 revellers to the Matterley Estate in Winchester this August.
However, for the second consecutive year, organisers have been forced to postpone Boomtown, citing ‘uncertainty surrounding the pandemic and critically the lack of a Government backed Covid specific insurance scheme to provide a vital safety net to events this summer’.
A statement, issued ‘almost exactly a year ago we had to break some identical bad news’, read: ‘We have been doing everything within our power to try to find a solution to the mind-boggling conundrum of putting on a safe and well-run event to the sheer scale, complexity and intricate nature of Boomtown this summer. However, the time has simply run out for us to be able to proceed in a way that would live up to our high safety and production standards for the large scale event we had planned.
‘With less than four months to go until the event, and after almost half a year of collective campaigning to the government, sadly Covid specific cancellation insurance for events simply does not exist at this point in time. This means anyone putting on an event this year, will be doing so without the safety net of insurance to cover them should Covid prevent them from going ahead in any capacity. For an independent event as large and complex as Boomtown, this means a huge gamble into an 8-figure sum to lose if we were to venture much further forward, and then not be able to go ahead due to Covid.
‘Although we have recently been awarded a very generous grant from the Arts Council England, which we are incredibly grateful for and throws us a vital and necessary lifeline, the reality is it represents only a fraction of the costs (under 10%) involved in creating an event to the sheer scale and ambition of Boomtown, and only goes so far to plugging the deficit left from not being able to run our event, now for two years in a row, and most pressingly does not solve the problem of lack of insurance.
‘We had planned Chapter One: The Gathering with our values front and centre and the safety and comfort at the top of the agenda for all in attendance, those living in the local area, as well as those working on the event. However, it does not feel that at this critical point in time, we have enough of an understanding of what the conditions will be in order for us to safely operate, or the time left to be able to implement it all to put on the show we know we were all waiting for this summer.’
Tickets will automatically roll over to the 2022 event, which will take place from August 10-14 next summer, with refunds also available.
Organisers added: ‘We are truly devastated to not be able to all come together to celebrate in the way we’d all like to this summer, and we know how hard this will be for the thousands of you who have supported us and kept the faith that we could collectively reunite in the beautiful fields this year.
‘The resale for all refunded 2021 tickets will go ahead as planned on 1st June, so if you weren’t able to get a ticket this year before we sold out, then this might be the golden opportunity to get your hands on a ticket to come and join us when we get to reset the clock to Chapter One and are all finally able to dance together once more in August 2022.’
Tickets for the 2021 event, which had been set to take place from August 11-15, sold out back in February.
Some of the UK’s biggest festivals have decided not to go ahead for a second year in a row due to the ongoing pandemic, including Glastonbury and Download.
However, others which take place later in the summer are ploughing ahead, with Reading and Leeds Festival, Parklife, Isle of Wight Festival, Wireless and Latitude all taking place.Credit: Original article published here.