“East Coast Showground officials regret to announce the delay of the launch of a major new attraction in Skegness, following the announcement the UK Government will no longer be “supporting” mass gatherings using emergency workers in new measures to combat the coronavirus crisis…
This means the VE75 festival scheduled for May 8-10 will no longer go ahead, along with a number of other festivals planned for the venue in the early part of the summer.
The decision comes after yesterday’s announcement by Prime Minister Boris Johnson which saw the government escalate the UK’s response to the next phase, also calling on the public to avoid non-essential travel.
On Friday, the World Health Organization stressed the need for a range of measures to tackle the virus, with Downing Street signalling it was preparing to stop large public events, including sports fixtures and concerts, to alleviate the pressure on police and the ambulance service.
Organisers of the Country to Country Festival 2020 (C2C) were among the first to respond by, at the last minute, cancelling shows due to take place over the weekend in London, Dublin and Glasgow..
The PM’s latest guidance fell short of banning mass gatherings. but the attendance of emergency services is a legal requirement of the VE75 event at the East Coast Showground..
The cancellation of the three-day family festival celebrating the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day is a blow for the organisers due to what has already been a massive investment through the planning stages of the new East Coast Showground – a 16-acre site on Burgh Road.
Russ Sparkes, who received planning permission to hold events at the Showground in September last year, said: “We want to apologise to the hundreds of people who have already bought tickets and the traders who have supported us by booking stands.
“The VE75 Festival was to be not only a celebration of the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day but also for the East Coast Showground team in launching the new attraction.
“It is particularly disappointed that we have to admit defeat by a virus on such an historic day when we should be celebrating victory..
“However, we have to put the safety of our visitors. many of whom are the older generation who would be coming along with their grandchildren, first.
“It is a legal requirement that emergency services are on site at the VE75 event. Indications are that the preventative measures put in place by the government will last for weeks and we did not want to disappoint people by leaving the decision on whether to go ahead until the last minute.”
Although the event on the East Coast Showground will not go ahead, it is hoped some of the attractions lined up for the VE75 Festival will still go ahead for everyone in Skegness over the weekend to enjoy, including flyovers by the Red Arrows and the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.
“We are also still in talks with the RAF Falcons parachute display team and hope people will be able to join us at the Grosvenor Hotel on 3pm on May 8 to raise a toast to the heroes of VE75,” said Mr Sparkes.
Mr Sparkes said: “We would like to thank everyone for their support in buying tickets and booking stands and look forward to hopefully seeing them later in the year.
“Our commitment to delivering a first class major attraction for the coast remains.”
Those who have already bought tickets or booked stands will be automatically refunded.
Events to be cancelled are:
For updates on the situation follow East Coast Showground on Facebook”.