Summer events cancelled across Ipswich as lockdown uncertainty continues

Ipswich Maritime Festival is one of the events to be cancelled this year. Picture: TIM GARRET-MOORE

Ipswich Maritime Festival is one of the events to be cancelled this year. Picture: TIM GARRET-MOORE - Credit: Tim Garrett-Moore

Ipswich council has officially cancelled all its planned events in the town until the late autumn because of the uncertainty over how the lockdown will be eased during the next few months.

All its outdoor events planned to take place in its parks and in public spaces between now and the end of October have been cancelled for this year.

These cancelled events include Ipswich Music Day, Maritime Ipswich, Global Rhythm, Indian Summer Mela, One Big Multicultural Festival, Family Fun Days, Outdoor Cinemas and Pantaloons Theatre. It will also be cancelling the Crafted Classique bike ride. Other events – organised by third parties – are not affected by this announcement.

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A spokesman said the decision had been taken because it was hard to envisage how any major, mass gathering, public events could be held safely and successfully as long as some form of social distancing remains in place.

He said: “We had kept this year’s council-funded and supported events programme under review and we have now reached the point at which we need to confirm bookings with suppliers to ensure we have the necessary equipment and infrastructure ordered.

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“But without clarity on what the rules may be in terms of social distancing over the summer and autumn, we consider it the right thing to do to cancel them now to provide certainty and not risk incurring irrecoverable costs in the coming weeks if the events then needed to be cancelled.

“It’s really disappointing that we have had to cancel these events due to the current situation. Our team works hard every year to organise these events, in conjunction with our partners and sponsors, for the enjoyment of over 200,000 attendees each year, however we must be prudent with our funds and ensure that the health of our residents, visitors to the town, our partners and our staff remains our number one priority at this time.”

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The council is watching the advice published by the Government and says it is looking forward to a day when it can welcome people back to our popular events. This includes events scheduled for November and December like the Christmas lights switch-on and the craft market – but it doesn’t anticipate needing to make a decision on whether to go ahead with these before to the autumn.

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