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Kendal Calling 2021: Festival cancelled for second year

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Kendal Calling music festival 2021 gets cancelled again. The organisers blame the government’s “complete absence of any guidance” for their decision to cancel the programme.

The festival was supposed to take place at Lowther Deer Park in Cumbria from 29 July to 1 August after being cancelled the first time, last year due to the pandemic.

According to Andy Smith, the promoter, a delay in publishing research from national pilot events had made planning impossible.

Stereophonics, Supergrass, The Streets and Dizzee Rascal were set to headline.

The four-day music and arts event was expected to be attended by almost 25,000 people.

 

Mr Smith said there had been a “complete absence of any guidance” from the government.

He further added: “The fear for us is we build a festival and we find out on, say, 21 July we have to double the size of our campsites or something.

“We don’t know what that could be, it could be anything. It’s a complete unknown.”

He said the event sold out in “record time” in February. This showed “how much people were looking forward to enjoying a sense of joy and community”.

Mr Smith said that the organisers would have to spend “between £1m and £2m” in the upcoming two weeks to arrange the festival.

But there would have been no guarantee of what conditions might be imposed when the event happens – Mr Smith said.

 

A letter to ticketholders said:

“Last Monday saw the delay of the so-called ‘Freedom Day’.

“As Kendal Calling sits outside of this delay we would still be in a strong position to proceed.

“But Monday also saw a less publicised delay; the release of the long-awaited research from the ERP (Events Research Programme) pilot events, which would inform the publication of crucial new safety guidance on how we run events.

“Without this safety guidance, there are numerous aspects of the festival we cannot plan.”

 

The cancellation of the event in 2020 had been “sad but understandable”, but cancelling it again this year was both “heartbreaking” and “infuriating” said the organisers.

“If calls for a government-backed insurance scheme had been heeded we could have potentially continued over the coming weeks,” they said.

“We take this opportunity to urge the government to reappraise its approach and to listen to the recommendations of its own reports.”

 

Now, the Kendal Calling event would take place from 28 to 31 July 2022.

 

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