In the light of continuing uncertainty around the coronavirus outbreak, Bedford Borough Council has taken the unprecedented decision to postpone the Bedford River Festival for one year.
In a statement, the council said, “This is not a decision that was taken lightly; with the government guidance encouraging people to avoid large gatherings to minimise the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) and uncertainty about how long these measures will have to be in place, this is felt to be the right decision.
“Many individuals and businesses, the local community, and Council officers have put a lot of hard work, time and energy into planning the River Festival.
“At this time of national crisis, continuing to plan this huge event would put significant strain on key resources, including community participation, which is such a key part of making the Festival what it is.”
In addition, Bedford Kite and Motoring Festival is also being postponed, and the Council is hoping to arrange it for a later date this year, depending on ongoing Government guidance around coronavirus and when it is safe to do for all.
The Council will keep traders, exhibitors, local residents and businesses informed.
Mayor Dave Hodgson said, “This will be disappointing news to many people, including the public who were looking forward to attending, the entertainers and performers, the boating community who have already planned their visit to the River Festival, our sponsors, our traders and suppliers, along with many others.
“We sincerely hope that by July, the nation has reached the recovery stage of this pandemic, but we also hope that the public understand the work and preparation that needs to be carried out to deliver these events safely cannot be undertaken at this time.
“I am very happy to announce that everything that’s been planned and prepared for 2020 will go ahead on the 17 & 18 July 2021 – the first time that the River Festival has been held on an odd numbered year.”
More information about the entertainment for the 2021 Bedford River Festival will be released over the next few months via the website and there will be lots to look forward to.
“We would like to thank our sponsors and supporters for their understanding and support during this challenging time for us all, and we are already looking forward July 2021.”