Hopes that the October Food Festival in Broadstairs would go ahead have been dashed.
Organisers have today (June 15) announced its cancellation due to the Coronavirus/Covid-19 pandemic, placing the not-for-profit group in immediate financial jeopardy.
The announcement comes following the government’s current public health guidelines with regard to outdoor events, and the continued advice against social contact.
Jo Scott, event director, said: “We regret deeply that our bi-annual gathering of food producers and food loving visitors won’t take place in October, as it has for 11 years
”This has not been a decision taken lightly and various alternative ways of staging the festival were extensively explored. However, the steps we would need to put in place to ensure distancing and hygiene measures, coupled with the loss of business sponsorship. means the festival is simply not financially viable.
”As we face these coming weeks of uncertainty, we will work hard to carry forward our spirit of togetherness, and to share information of online shops for our producers.
”As an organisation we now face a stark reality. The festival is a not-for-profit organisation, run predominantly by volunteers. Our margins are slim and our reserve fund, slimmer.
“With 40% of income derived from at-the-event donations, business sponsorship and ticketed events, the cancellation compromises our core costs and makes the future of the festival precarious.”
Simon Abra, festival advertising director, added ‘We do appreciate the support and goodwill shown to us by the community and are sorry to have to disappoint visitors, traders and producers and all those who are involved in the staging of this ever-popular event.”
The Festival is self-funded and now, more than ever, donations will be an important source of income. Find out about the festival Gofundme appeal below.
The Broadstairs summer firework displays have also been cancelled.
A spokesman for Broadstairs Fireworks Events said: “Sadly we have had to make the decision that we cannot run the Broadstairs summer firework events that were planned for July and August this year.
“Large gatherings of people are not allowed under current government Covid19 guidelines and it would be impossible to run a safe event, restrict numbers attending and ensure responsible social distancing.
“We hope to be able to return in 2021 and re-instate these fabulous summer evenings of bandstand music and stunning firework displays.”