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Organisers cancel Red Rooster music festival with ‘heavy heart’

PUBLISHED: 17:53 04 August 2020 | UPDATED: 07:39 07 August 2020

The Red Rooster Festival was the first major music event to reschedule after the easing of lockdown  Photo: Red Rooster Festival

The Red Rooster Festival was the first major music event to reschedule after the easing of lockdown Photo: Red Rooster Festival

Archant

Organisers of popular music festival Red Rooster have been forced to cancel this year’s socially distanced event which was due to take place at Euston Hall in Suffolk.

Euston Hall, the home of the Red Rooster Festival, an event which celebrates all forms of roots music   Photo: Red Rooster FestivalEuston Hall, the home of the Red Rooster Festival, an event which celebrates all forms of roots music Photo: Red Rooster Festival

The annual music festival was due to go ahead despite most of the UK’s events being cancelled due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

Organisers were working hard to hold a socially distanced event this year from September 4-6. However, the plans have now succumbed to the coronavirus.

The roots music festival specialises in Cajun, Rock n Roll, Blues and Country music.

Former Pulp guitarist Richard Hawley was due to headline the event as part of his 20th anniversary celebrations of being a solo artist.

It was originally planned to go ahead in May but was delayed due to the national health crisis.

A statement on Red Rooster’s website read: “From the July 11, the UK government gave the green light for outdoor events to proceed.

“Although many organisers thought that the 24 hours’ notice of being able to proceed was not enough warning, our team at Red Rooster stood up and declared we would be going ahead.

“Red Rooster already had a license and we knew that with a little blood, sweat, and tears, we could pull everything together and get the show on the road.”

MORE: Popular music festival to still go ahead this summer

The organisation said they were “immensely disappointed” that Public Health England failed to engage with them, which they say was the ultimate reason why the festival could not go ahead.

They did, however, praise West Suffolk Council and the emergency services who supported the festival throughout its planning.

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They added: “We wanted to be a shining beacon for others on how we can get our industry back on the road, and we fought all we could to try and make this happen.

“We are immensely sad that although we understand we were seeking answers within a tight period of time, we couldn’t have everyone see just how important our endeavour to proceed with Red Rooster was.”

It is not clear if refunds are currently available but ticket holders are asked to roll over their tickets until 2021 to help the organisation which has faced a “very challenging year”.

Next year’s festival is due to go ahead from June 3-5 with a new line up of music, activities and food and drink.

Tickets are currently available for next year at a range of prices.

David Edwards, Health Protection Consultant at PHE East of England, said: “Decisions on festivals and other community events are rightly made by the Local Authority who undertake a full evaluation and risk assessment.

In the same way, it is not for PHE to advise on Event Safety Management Plans for individual events, as the issuing of licences again rests with the Local Authority.

“PHE does provide public health advice to the local authority on request.

“In this instance, PHE was approached indirectly by the West Suffolk Council Safety Advisory Group (SAG) in connection with the Red Rooster event.

“We were able to provide signposting to relevant current national guidance and direction, in terms of what was needed to progress the steps necessary for the event to be considered.”


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