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Broadstairs Folk Week cancelled due to coronavirus

For the first time in 54 years, Broadstairs Folk Week will not be taking place.

Every August, the week-long festival brings thousands of people from across the UK to Thanet for some folk-themed festivities. Since the festival began, it has not been cancelled until now.

In a statement on Facebook, a spokesperson from the Broadstairs Folk Week Committee said: ”It is with a heavy heart, and with a certain degree of inevitability, that we have to inform you that it will not be possible to hold Broadstairs Folk Week as planned in 2020.

We have had an unbroken run of 54 years of this wonderful event but the time has come to accept that, given the current situation with Covid-19 and the ongoing uncertainty that is affecting all our lives, we cannot commit to planning or running the festival this year.”

Image © Acabashi; Creative Commons CC-BY-SA 4.0; Source: Wikimedia Commons

Image © AcabashiCreative Commons CC-BY-SA 4.0; Source: Wikimedia Commons

“As many of you will know, our planning and preparation activities take all year but they ramp up significantly in the four months prior to the festival. As this coincides with the expected peak of the virus infection in the UK, it is impossible for staff and volunteers to work on festival preparations while adhering to the government guidelines and keeping everyone safe. This is also the time when we would normally raise most of the revenue that enables us to run the festival and, with the current restrictions, that revenue is unlikely to materialise.

We will be contacting anyone who has bought tickets, paid deposits on craft fair stalls and so on individually in the next week or so to discuss options regarding the 2021 festival. Please bear with us as there are a number of people to contact – we will be in touch as soon as we can.

Image © Acabashi; Creative Commons CC-BY-SA 4.0; Source: Wikimedia Commons

Image © AcabashiCreative Commons CC-BY-SA 4.0; Source: Wikimedia Commons

“Folk Week has first-hand experience of the resourcefulness, talents and dedication of the musicians, volunteers and Friends that has kept the festival alive over all these years and supported us in some difficult times. We are sure that this spirit will continue into the future.”

Each year, we look forward to reuniting and reconnecting with the extended Folk Week family. It may not happen this year, but we are ever hopeful that we can all meet up again in 2021. Thank you for you continuing support – stay safe and keep well.”

The Facebook post received over 30,000 views.

Chairman of the Folk Week Committee, Lee Wellbrook, said: “The key thing for us is the main cancellation of this year’s festival. The main reasons behind that being we’re not too sure what position we’re going to be in come August, although there may be a lessening of some of the social distancing restrictions, we can’t be certain that’s going to be the case.”

You can listen to the full interview below:


Broadstairs Folk Week have since started up a fundraiser to help support Folk Week 2021. If you’d like to contribute then visit their page here or alternatively use this PayPal link.