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17th June 2020

Tenterden Folk Festival 2020 Postponed till next year

After lengthy discussions, and considering the latest government announcements, the trustees and Festival Committee have reluctantly come to the decision that the 28th Tenterden Folk Festival, due to be held from 1st to 4th October 2020, should be postponed to 2021. In making this decision we have considered the age demographic of many of our festival guests, regular audience members and volunteers as well as our responsibilities as festival organisers to keep everyone safe at the Festival. Therefore the 28th Tenterden Folk Festival will take place from Thursday 30th September to Sunday 3rd October 2021. We have delayed taking this very hard decision until now in the hope that the future position regarding the Coronavirus pandemic and the necessary restrictions and recommendations regarding public gatherings and meetings would become clearer. It now still seems unlikely to us that festival venues such as public houses, cafes and restaurants, hotels and other accommodation will be open as normal. We have also considered the position regarding travel to the festival for those coming from longer distances and particularly the guests coming from overseas and their position regarding flights and travel health insurance. We have heard from several Morris sides that in their view the whole season is now a write off as they have not been able to meet to practise and that some of their members would not feel safe attending any large gatherings this year. Similar considerations also apply to the free events in the marquees where it may still not be safe for all the stallholders, exhibitors, Morris sides and performers to gather. We also had to consider the financial implications of whatever decision we made. We have already incurred substantial costs including advertising, printing, hotel bookings for some guests and other costs and need to be able to avoid running up further costs in confirming bookings and paying for logistics such as marquees, stages, portable toilets, PA, etc. and then having to cancel the festival due to restrictions being still in place in October. We are pleased that many of the guests booked for 2020 have already indicated that they are able to join us for 2021 instead. We may try to arrange some smaller special events between now and next year. Look out for our future emails and tweets or check on our website for announcements in due course. We will be contacting all guests, Morris sides, ticketholders, stallholders, suppliers, venues, funders and other supporters, etc. over the next couple of weeks. We look forward to seeing you all as soon it is safe and possible to do so. Yours sincerely Alan Castle BEM Trustee and Festival Director On behalf of the Trustees and Festival Committee