Statement from the Herne Bay Festival Charitable Trust:
It is with much disappointment that we have decided to cancel this year’s Herne Bay Festival in light of the current situation with the Covid-19 pandemic. There are several reasons behind our decision; financial, practical, and of course responsibility to the health and wellbeing of the public.
As Canterbury City Council is faced with providing unprecedented support to essential services to help alleviate the effects of the pandemic, the grant funding due to go towards the festival has been, quite rightly, reallocated to much more vital services during this national emergency. Whilst individual event organisers are very good at acquiring sponsorship from many generous local businesses and individuals to go towards their events, the grant funding would still be vital to make the festival as a whole financially viable until we, as a fledgling charity, are able to obtain enough funding ourselves to distribute to the many fantastic events that run as part of the festival season.
In terms of the time required to organise some of the events, planning would have to start very soon, if not already. And with the uncertainty of how long this pandemic will take to recede it would not be practical or sensible to try to plan events without knowing any timescales to work with.
But most importantly our first priority is the health, wellbeing, and safety of the public and whilst there is currently a ban on social gatherings it would be completely irresponsible of us not to follow the current advice. Even though the festival is not due to take place until August, nobody knows when gathering in large groups, as many of our events attract, will once again be safe.
We are as I’m sure everybody is, monitoring the situation closely. And perhaps when the latest advice allows it, and only if it safe to do so, we may be able to organise some kind of short notice event in August to celebrate our wonderful town and it’s equally wonderful community.