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Covid-19: List of cancelled summer events continues to grow

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THE Island’s 2020 summer calendar has been decimated, with a large number of popular events cancelled as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The impact of the Covid-19 outbreak has been felt heavily by many businesses across the Island, and events organisers have been left with little choice but to cancel or postpone events which normally fill the Island’s social calendar each year.

The highly successful Island Walk which normally takes place in June each year has been postponed, with a new date yet to be announced. The walk attracts around 1,500 Islanders annually and raises money for various charities.

The Jersey International Motoring Festival has been cancelled, which the organisers described as ‘one of the hardest decisions to make’.

Reasons music festival

And the traditional Battle of Flowers parade, which normally takes place in August each year, has also been cancelled, with neither the daytime or moonlight parades taking place this year. A statement posted on the Jersey Battle of Flowers website says: ‘It is with deep regret on our part that the 2020 Jersey Battle of Flowers daytime and moonlight parades have been cancelled.

‘We have made this difficult decision as a result of the current coronavirus situation and the subsequent impact it is having on organisers to prepare and stage an event of this size during a period of great uncertainty and anxiety.’

The Gorey Fete has not yet been cancelled, though organisers are unsure if it will be given permission to go ahead. The chairman of the Gorey Fete Committee, Lester Richardson, said that they were ‘certainly planning for it’ and that the issue lay more in whether the Bailiff’s Panel would approve such an event. The fete is one of the largest charity events held each year, and the organisers believe it would be a much-needed boost for the Island’s morale.

‘I’m worried about the many charities that have benefited in the past,’ said Mr Richardson. ‘If we could go ahead it would be something special.’

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Battle of Flowers 2019

Karen Shenton-Stone, Constable of St Martin, is also unsure the fete will happen, given the strict health guidelines. She said: ‘We would very much like the fete to go ahead but are obviously aware that following strict health guidelines with social distancing, at the moment the fete looks unlikely.’

In addition to popular tourist attractions like the Battle of Flowers, many music festivals planned for the summer have also had to cancel, with Wonky Town announcing on its Facebook page that the event would be postponed until July of next year.

‘Following discussions with the Bailiff’s Office and the parish of St Peter and taking into consideration the health and safety of Islanders we have taken the right but heartbreaking decision to postpone the festival until next year.

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‘Even if the festival was to get the green light we do not want to add any extra strain on our public services and it would be irresponsible to add any extra burden on our frontline staff and emergency services.’

Music festival Electric Park – which had announced Jessie J and Razorlight among the acts due to play this year – has announced it has been rescheduled for next year, while Reasons Festival, another well-attended summer event, has also been cancelled.

The future of the Island’s largest music festival, Weekender, as well as dance event Out There, remain uncertain, with organiser Warren Le Sueur declining to comment on whether the events would go ahead as planned.

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