Black Deer Festival 2021 cancelled following June 21 reopening delay

"We can't quite put into words how we are feeling right now"

This year’s Black Deer Festival has been cancelled following the government’s announcement yesterday to delay the easing of coronavirus restrictions until July 19.

The three-day, multi-stage festival celebrating Americana and country music, held at Eridge Park in Kent, was due to take place on the weekend of June 25-27.

Van Morrison, Frank Turner and Saving Grace featuring Robert Plant and Suzi Dian were due to headline this year’s event along with Foy Vance, Band Of Skulls, John Smith, Wildwood Kin, Declan O’Rourke, William The Conqueror, Bess Atwell and more.

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But organisers have confirmed the event will not go ahead and they will now be looking to stage the bash in 2022.

In a statement on Instagram they said: “We can’t quite put into words how we are feeling right now. The delay by the Government on the easing of restrictions means we’re unable to bring you Black Deer Festival 2021.

“It’s devastating news for all connected with Black Deer. But we’ll be back in 2022.”

The Association of Independent Festivals meanwhile has called for an urgent intervention from the UK government to help festivals following yesterday’s announcement.

AIF analysis suggests that, with the easing of restrictions pushed back to July 19, 93 per cent of remaining UK festivals over 5,000-capacity could still potentially go ahead this summer – but not without insurance. Most costs for a festival are incurred a month before the event, and the average cost of staging a festival is over £6million.

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“The AIF fully understands the rationale for delaying Step 4 of the lockdown roadmap,” AIF CEO Paul Reed said in a statement. “However, any measures that prevent festivals from operating fully have to be counterbalanced with effective support to ensure businesses can survive.

“For those festival organisers that still have a chance of staging events after July 19, that support is government-backed insurance, which will give them the confidence to continue planning and commit the significant costs that entails. Ultimately, it is a political choice if the government does not support the sector with insurance at this stage, pushing festival businesses towards another cliff edge.”

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