The festival has been cancelled for the second year running.
Organisers of Bristol Harbour Festival have announced today that the annual festival has been cancelled for a second consecutive year and will also be taking a break in 2021. Making the announcement on Wednesday (April 14) morning, the team behind one of the UK’s largest public festivals said it was “a difficult decision to make”, but that the roadmap out of lockdown doesn’t leave enough time to put together one of the city’s biggest celebrations.
The full post shared online by organisers said: “The Bristol Harbour Festival will be taking a break in 2021. This has been a difficult decision to come to, but unfortunately, the timelines leading up to this year’s event do not allow enough time to plan the event the city deserves. Instead, we will be focussing our efforts on creating an incredible 50th anniversary celebration in 2022.”
The Bristol Harbour festival, which offers free entry to everyone, was due to take place between Friday, July 16 and Sunday, July 18 this summer, but organisers have chosen to take a break this year. It also leaves another gap in the city’s annual festivals calendar, with St Paul’s Carnival also not taking place in July.
Jon Finch, Bristol City Council’s Head of Culture and Creative Industries, said: “The events sector in Bristol is one of the most important parts of the city’s identity, which makes the decision to postpone the Harbour Festival all the harder. We are determined to make sure as many safe smaller-scale events are facilitated and supported to take place this year as possible and we are also going to do all we can to make sure that the Harbour Festival will return next year to celebrate its 50th anniversary.
“The roadmap out of lockdown potentially means a very uncertain time for many of the thousands of events sector workers and festival attendees who live in the city. However we are continuing to support as many events as it can and want to support as many as possible to go ahead this summer.’’
Carly Heath, Bristol’s Night-Time Economy Advisor, said: “The Harbour Festival is taking a breather this year, but we are still expecting many ticketed events to take place and we will support as many as we possibly can. The events sector in Bristol is intrinsically linked to our night-time economy and as we safely emerge from lockdown we know how keen Bristolians are to get back out to enjoy our night time culture.’’
The Bristol Harbour festival stretches across the harbourside with music stages, food markets, circus activities, family activities and more. It covers areas from Queen Square, Thekla, Cascade Steps, along the Floating Harbour and more.
However, Bristol City Council has announced that small scale events such as Breaking Bread, Bristol Comedy Garden and the Spiegeltent are going ahead this year. This is expected to help Bristol’s world-renowned events calendar make a steady return from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic this year.
[Featured Image: Bristol Harbour Festival]