THE New Forest Fairy Festival, due to have been held in Burley this weekend, has been cancelled.
Organisers announced the “devastating” news on Facebook on Wednesday afternoon, saying Public Heath England had taken the decision “out of our hands” due to the national rise in coronavirus transmission rates.
The event at Burley Park, organised by Holly Norman, was due to attract around 1,000 people over tomorrow (Saturday) and Sunday. It had faced opposition from some villagers and senior district councillor Mark Steele over the Covid-19 risks from crowds.
The statement by the festival, which has run since 2014, said: “Over the course of the last few months we have worked extremely hard with all authorities including public health to continue to bring you this festival.
“Unfortunately with the rise of transmission rate in communities across the UK, Public Health England have taken the decision out of our hands today.
“We are now in the process of contacting everyone who is involved with the fairy festival, contractors, exhibitors, performers and entertainers.
“All refunds for tickets will be processed and you do not need to contact us for this as this will be automatically done.”
It added: “We thank each and every one of you for continuing to support this beautiful event, that over the years has brought so much happiness, joy and wellbeing to people’s lives.”
As reported in the A&T, the festival was granted an alcohol licence by New Forest District Council and had already secured a Temporary Events Notice after being given the all-clear by NFDC and the police.
It had been due to take place in August but, due to the pandemic, was put back to this month. It would have featured a “healing garden”, non-contact holistic workshops, spiritual talks, fairy yoga and burlesque dance workshops.