Nottingham City Council has today announced the cancellation of two major summer events.
Both the Nottingham Beach and Riverside Festival will not take place this year due to the coronavirus outbreak.
It was hoped they could go ahead but, following careful consideration, the decision has been taken that it is not possible with the need to provide safe social distancing and while the staging of live entertainment remains prohibited.
The Nottingham Beach, was due to open in Old Market Square on Thursday 23 July and run through the school summer holidays until Monday 31 August, while the Riverside Festival would have been staged over the weekend of 31 July.
The Beach, managed by Mellors Group, has been the go-to, free summer event for Nottingham families over the past decade, consisting of stalls, rides and a genuine seaside experience with sand and water.
Riverside Festival, which is produced by the council, attracts more than 200,000 people over the three days, includes a mile-long fun fair, two music stages, various river-based activities and a Saturday night firework display. The 2020 event would have been its 40th anniversary.
The announcement follows the previous cancellation of Splendour, Nottingham Carnival and Nottinghamshire Pride. It is hoped that some outdoor events will be able to be staged later in the summer, subject to Government guidance, or in some cases moved online.
Councillor Dave Trimble, Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture at Nottingham City Council, said: “We understand how disappointing it has been for people to see major events have to be cancelled because of the coronavirus outbreak.
“We really hoped that we could find a way to press ahead with the Nottingham Beach and Riverside Festival, but unfortunately this wasn’t possible.
“With just a few weeks to go, even with a relaxation of social-distancing requirements to one metre-plus and plans to open up the wider leisure industry nationally, we have reluctantly reached the conclusion that the scale of both of these events would be too large.
“Nothing is more important than the safety of the public. We worked with our partners to try to find alternative ways to host some of the elements of these events, but while Government guidance remains as it is, there is simply no way to guarantee safety and to prevent the potential spread of the virus.
“It goes without saying that we will look to be back bigger than ever in 2021, with a list of major family events that Nottingham can be proud of.”
Edward Mellors, Managing Director of Mellors Group, said: “We support Nottingham City Council’s decision to cancel this year’s Beach event. We will continue to monitor Government guidance and explore other opportunities as updated advice for events is announced. We continue our aim to provide, safe and fun-filled experiences to the city of Nottingham.”