We are continuing to add material concerning the festival to this diary entry as it becomes available from the Town Council.
Below are the statements issued by
festival organisers between 17th March
and 15th June 2020 when the cancellation was announced. These are included here for historical purposes.
MIDDLEWICH FOLK AND BOAT FESTIVAL STATEMENT
17th MARCH 2020
Middlewich Folk and Boat Festival - Covid 19 Update
A decision has not yet been taken as to whether the Middlewich Folk and Boat Festival will take place in June. Postponement of the event is being investigated to reduce the losses that will be suffered by the Council and a wide range of local businesses should the event require full cancellation on the current dates. Whilst this is investigated tickets will be taken off sale. If you have already purchased a ticket should we postpone it will be transferred to the new date or refunded in full if the event is ultimately cancelled.
Please bear with us at this time …
Note: This statement has been taken from the official Folk & Boat Festival Facebook Group.
UPDATE: 20th APRIL 2020:
Today the council has announced that it intends to postpone the Folk & Boat Festival until a later date in 2020 rather than cancel it for this year.
An announcement of the new date will be made 'this week' and the revised date will appear here once it has been announced.
Below is a link to the Town council on Facebook, where the April update can be read in full - Ed.
MIDDLEWICH TOWN COUNCIL ON FACEBOOK
UPDATE: 23rd April 2020:
Here's the Folk & Boat Festival's Statement from April 20th 2020, again taken from the Festival's Facebook Group:
As the Middlewich Folk & Boat Festival cannot take place in June, we have been working on postponing the festival until later in the year. A decision has now been made on this and we will be announcing the postponed date for Folk and Boat festival this week.
It’s not as easy as you might think to reorganise this but we know how important this event will be to help a number of businesses and the Town recover. It is for this reason that we have chosen not simply to cancel the 2020 event.
UPDATE: 23rd APRIL 2020:
NEW DATE ANNOUNCED:
25th - 27th SEPTEMBER 2020
(This date has now been abandoned)
UPDATE: 7th MAY 2020:
Added 7th May 2020
Added 20th May 2020
Added 8th May 2020
Statement from Middlewich Folk & Boat Festival, 26th May 2020:
IMAGES: BRELAND PHOTOGRAPHY
MIDDLEWICH FOLK AND BOAT FESTIVAL LAUNCHES COMMUNITY SUPPORT SCHEME
Middlewich Folk and Boat Festival is pleased to announce its new Community Support Initiative, aimed at making the event more accessible to local businesses and organisations.
The first announcement is the reduction of the fringe venue registration fee from £250 to £100, the first change in 8 years. We hope this will make participation more feasible for the town’s pubs after a particularly difficult past few months. This fee goes towards marketing costs and the production of the free festival guide. Middlewich Town Council is dedicated to supporting local businesses and is confident the income lost through this change can be balanced out by the income from Saturday Night’s ticketed concert.
Secondly, we are excited to announce plans to extend Saturday’s market on Wheelock Street to Sunday too, this is to give businesses on the street as much support and footfall as possible over the festival weekend. This is dependent on retailer interest.
Our third and final announcement in our community support scheme is aimed at helping our schools. We would like to offer all Middlewich school PTA’s a free stall at the festival, either on Wheelock Street or on Civic Way Car Park. We hope this will help with fundraising and will enable our schools to be more involved with the festival.
Middlewich Folk and Boat Festival was created in 1990 as a community event, and in introducing this new support, we can ensure the festival remains at the heart of our community as we celebrate the 30th anniversary. 2020 has been a very trying time for us all so far, and we hope the new festival dates (Friday 25th - Sunday 27th September) provide something to look forward too for our town and that these updates do provide some relief for our local businesses.
Added 26th May 2020
MIDDLEWICH FOLK AND BOAT FESTIVAL 2020 POSTPONED TO 2021
Middlewich Town Council has taken the decision to postpone the 30th Anniversary of Middlewich Folk and Boat Festival to 16th to 20th June 2021. This decision has not been taken lightly and has been under constant review since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
The decision to postpone the festival, instead of cancelling allows us to carry over our 30th Anniversary celebrations to next year with as much of the same line up as is possible including Scouting for Girls, Lucy Spraggan, Toyah and China Crisis.
This decision has been made in relation to a number of concerns; Firstly, the council is aware that the current 2 meter social distancing rule would be difficult to enforce at a large festival, especially after the consumption of alcohol and on canal towpaths.
Secondly, the relaxing of lockdown measures has seen the regions ‘R’ number jump above 1, meaning a new course of lockdown measures may be enforced later in the year.
We are also conscious that the lockdown has had a large impact on many of the town’s businesses meaning they simply do not have the money to provide sponsorship for the event. This coupled with the increased costs a 2020 event would incur through the purchase of PPE, washing stations and extra barriers, makes the event less financially viable.
With all these factors considered, and as always having the safety of the public as a priority, the Council think it much more beneficial to the festival and the town to look ahead to celebrating the 30th Anniversary of Middlewich Folk and Boat Festival in June 2021.
All tickets already purchased for main stage concerts will automatically be transferred over to next year and will avoid any potential price rises as a result. However, if ticket holders do wish to be refunded, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and this will be facilitated as soon as possible.
Added 16th June 2020
A statement will be issued on a possible new date for the festival quiz when the situation regarding Covid 19 and the current lockdown becomes clearer.
Editor's Note: Middlewich being Middlewich once the news about the festival broke a debate started locally about whether the festival was actually being'cancelled' or merely 'postponed'. The truth of the matter is this: The 2020 festival is cancelled as no festival will take place this year. What is being postponed is the celebration of Middlewich's thirtieth Folk & Boat Festival. This will now take place in 2021*. DR
*This now looks unlikely (Jan 2021).
UPDATE (JANUARY 2nd 2021). Following the worsening of the Coronavirus pandemic during the winter of 2020/21 the Town Council made a decision in December 2020 to suspend planning for the next festival until the situation becomes clearer. As a result we're not in a position to predict when the next festival will take place. We'll bring you any news when we get it.
Originally published 13th April 2020
Updated and re-published 20th April 2020, 23rd April 2020, 7th May 2020, 8th May 2020, 20th May 2020, 26th May 2020, 15th June 2020, 16th June 2020, 2nd January 2021, 16th March 2021 (Final Update)