The organiser of Boomtown, the 66,000 capacity festival held at Winchester’s Matterley Bowl, has now cancelled Boom Village, a “one-off” four-day festival that was set to take place from August 12-15.
Boomtown was cancelled in April. At the time, the organising team cited uncertainty surrounding the pandemic and the lack of a Government-backed COVID specific insurance scheme. Therefore, it took the difficult decision to cancel the 2021 event.
Now, the Boomtown organiser has cancelled Boom Village, the Boomtown spin-off, and issued a statement detailing their heartbreak at having to make another hard decision.
The statement read: “We are truly sorry to have to say this again, but we have had to make the incredibly hard decision to cancel Boom Village.
“These past few days we have been back in the excruciating position of weighing up every possible scenario to see how we might be able to proceed. There is so much excitement out there for us to come together and host this beautiful festival but sadly the risks of holding the event now outweigh all the wonderful reasons for going ahead.
“The core decision is due to the escalating cases of COVID-19 across the country, and the risks that widespread illness and self-isolation could have on our crew and contractors, which would result in us not having enough people to build and deliver the show to the high public safety standards we uphold.
“When we first came up with the concept of Boom Village we were so excited by the idea of a smaller show where we could trial new sustainable ideas. This was incredibly energising and we leapt into the project of bringing our much-loved festival community back together in a whole new way; with an intimate, locally focused and family-friendly event that put its ethos front and centre.
“We had devised a concept that could have worked in the current climate, despite all the existing issues such as a lack of insurance etc… We were navigating our way through those obstacles, but with the timelines being pushed back, the changes we’ve seen to policy and the national escalation in cases, the odds now feel stacked against us and we are no longer in a position to be able to proceed.
“We appreciate that this decision may be confusing in light of the latest Government announcement relaxing most of the COVID legislation from July 19. In that announcement it was also stated that the responsibility and ‘common sense’ now lies with the individual or organisation; that is a responsibility we take very seriously. The circumstances we’ve outlined above severely affect our ability to deliver a show where we could guarantee high levels of safety for all in attendance, as there are so many factors outside of our control.
“Whilst cancellation may not be the case for all festivals and we truly hope that many will still be able to continue this summer, as a fully independent festival with a small but highly skilled team and a close-knit extended crew, the rise in cases and isolation pose a real threat that we simply cannot ignore. Unfortunately, we have to accept this and make the best decision for all involved and in attendance, as well as the future of the festival.”