The Kirkstall Festival is the biggest volunteer run event in West Leeds but like so many events this year it will be having a sabbatical for population safety, writes Iola Shaw, member of the festival committee.
A tough decision had to be made this week as no-one can be sure that social mixing will be safe enough to hold such a busy day on 13th July – less than 4 months away.
For volunteers involved in the event year on year, planning for the 40th birthday extravaganza started as the last of the litter was cleared on the 2019.
It is therefore extremely disappointing, but a decision needed to be made. When there is still uncertainty over what will happen next regarding limiting the spread of Corona-Virus (COVID-19) we must ensure that everyone keeps a safe personal distance and ensures a level of hygiene.
It is just not possible to do this at a very busy, open air one day event like this.
More than 20,000 people routinely attend and we want everyone and more to be able to come to the 2021 event.
Jim Corah, the events manager said:
“It feels sad having to cancel the Festival though already the messages of support are heart warning. It feels really special bringing everyone together every year.
“Communities are important, now more so than usual, and the Festival is testament to the strength of communities. Next year we’ll do it again but better than before, there will be amazing performers, the stallholders will be great, the caterers will be offering tasty treats, everyone is invited!”
Planning for the 2021 event: to be held at the usual time – the second Saturday, 10 July – at the usual place – Kirkstall Abbey Park – will commence by early in the autumn.
It’s never too early to get involved – the website will continue to be live for updates and your ideas. You are welcome to get involved and bring some of your brilliant ideas dreamed up during this period of social distancing to make one of the busiest days in park extra special.
Pudsey Carnival organisers yesterday said they were postponing their event.