Broadstairs Folk Week will not take place this year – the first time it has been postponed in 54 years.
The annual event, which brings thousands of visitors to the town every August, is the latest casualty of the coronavirus pandemic.
In a statement on facebook folk week organisers say: “It is with a heavy heart, and with a certain degree of inevitability, that we have to inform you that it will not be possible to hold Broadstairs Folk Week as planned in 2020.
“We have had an unbroken run of 54 years of this wonderful event but the time has come to accept that, given the current situation with Covid-19 and the ongoing uncertainty that is affecting all our lives, we cannot commit to planning or running the festival this year.
“As many of you will know, our planning and preparation activities take all year but they ramp up significantly in the four months prior to the festival. As this coincides with the expected peak of the virus infection in the UK, it is impossible for staff and volunteers to work on festival preparations while adhering to the government guidelines and keeping everyone safe.
“This is also the time when we would normally raise most of the revenue that enables us to run the festival and, with the current restrictions, that revenue is unlikely to materialise.
“We will be contacting anyone who has bought tickets, paid deposits on craft fair stalls and so on individually in the next week or so to discuss options regarding the 2021 festival. Please bear with us as there are a number of people to contact – we will be in touch as soon as we can.
“Folk Week has first-hand experience of the resourcefulness, talents and dedication of the musicians, volunteers and Friends that has kept the festival alive over all these years and supported us in some difficult times. We are sure that this spirit will continue into the future.
Each year, we look forward to reuniting and reconnecting with the extended Folk Week family. It may not happen this year, but we are ever hopeful that we can all meet up again in 2021.”
Organiser Jo Tuffs said the hope was to be back for 2021 and urged people to support the Folk Week and help make it possible to stage next year’s event by joining the Friends of Broadstairs Folk Week.