Environmental Fair 2020 - July Update
We have very reluctantly concluded that we cannot run the event in 2020. We are aware that this will be a huge disappointment to the thousands of people who look forward to the event each year. We have held back on taking this decision until as late as reasonably possible, in order to see how the Covid-19 situation might develop. However, at this late stage we reluctantly have to conclude that progressing the running of the Fair this year is too risky. A summary of the main reasons behind this decision are as follows:
- Whilst some of the Covid-19 rules have been eased the Government covid-19 restrictions from 4th July prohibit by law the gathering of more than 30 people. At the time of making this decision we are unsure if or how this will be increased by the end of August to allow for the number of people who attend the Fair. Even if the prohibition were lifted, it might be re-imposed locally if there were a surge in Covid-19 cases in the area.
- We have to make a significant financial outlay for the hiring of expensive equipment, materials and facilities well in advance of the Fair. If the event had to be cancelled due to Covid-19, we risk losing large sums of money. This would directly impact our ability to run the event in future years. We do not want to take this extra risk. The costs of staging the event are not underwritten by public funding or super-rich benefactors!
- We have concerns that social distancing will be difficult to maintain at an event with live music which draws large crowds. Additionally, we note that almost all other summer events have been cancelled, including those which run over the same weekend as the Environmental Fair. Therefore there is an additional risk that we could be overwhelmed by large numbers of people coming to our event instead of others. Such a situation would be very difficult to deal with.
- Public transport is limited on Bank Holidays. Numbers allowed on buses are currently very limited. The company we hire the free bus service from for the Fair have said they are not hiring buses currently. So this could cause a large amount of car travel to the area for the event and parking chaos in the surrounding streets.
- Many of the volunteers who help to plan and deliver the event safely are likely to be impacted by covid-19 restrictions. The Fair relies on 100+ volunteers to make it happen safely.
Whilst we are hugely disappointed, we hope you will understand that we have to be concerned for people’s safety as well as to sensibly consider the practicalities of running a large community event in current circumstances. And finally we hope you will all agree that it is worth protecting the viability of the event for future years.