The Porthleven Food Festival, which was due to take place next month (April 17-19), has been cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Ticketholders will be automatically refunded and all traders, acts, artists and speakers will be rebooked for the 2021 event.
The decision, which organisers say has not been taken lightly, has been made amidst the current situation with coronavirus/COVID-19 in the UK. The decision has been made based on public safety and securing the future of the community-run event.
Alec Short, chairman of Porthleven Food Festival, said: “Much of the demographic for our event in the daytimes is 60+ and the World Health Organisation has already advised people in this age bracket not to attend public gatherings.
“The committee has been monitoring the situation in the UK as it worsens and we all believe it is the right decision to cancel.
“With less than five weeks to go any additional restrictions on the movement of people, or a nationwide ban on events being enacted in the coming weeks, would be financially catastrophic for us. Coupled with the current public health concerns, we feel that we must cancel the event this year in order to guarantee its future survival.
“The festival, which usually brings around 40,000 people together over three days, has never been cancelled before in its twelve-year history, despite terrible weather in some years. The team has already put a great deal of time, resource and energy into organising and promoting this year’s event and this is not a decision we have made lightly.
“We’ve been experiencing increased uncertainty and concerns from our audience, sponsors, traders, suppliers and partners and feel that this is the responsible course of action in the current unprecedented climate.
“By cancelling now, we can secure the future of the Festival. There are very real risks if we continue to people being unwilling or unable to attend the event, or of the UK government imposing a ban on large gatherings, as has happened in other European countries. The implications of those actions would be catastrophic for the future of the event.
“We hope everyone will support our decision and come back and join us in 2021.”
The 2021 Porthleven Food Festival will take place from April 23-25.