Organisers of Hatfield music festival Slam Dunk have “with a very heavy heart” called off this year’s rock event.

The Comet: Slam Dunk Festival 2020 has been called off and the festival will now return to Leeds and Hatfield in May 2021.Slam Dunk Festival 2020 has been called off and the festival will now return to Leeds and Hatfield in May 2021. (Image: Slam Dunk Festival)

The all-day pop-punk, ska punk, metal and alternative rock festival was originally due to return to Hatfield Park later this month over the Spring May Bank Holiday weekend.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, promoters firstly rearranged the Hertfordshire leg of the twin-sited festival for Sunday, September 6.

However, with social distancing guidelines still in place and no confirmation when there will be any relaxing of mass gathering restrictions, Slam Dunk’s independent organisers have now abandoned plans to hold the festival in Hatfield later in the year.

They have postponed SDF 2020 until next year, with Slam Dunk South 2021 due to take place in the grounds of Hatfield House on Sunday, May 30.

The festival’s new dates will also see Slam Dunk visit Leeds Temple Newsam on Saturday, May 29, 2021.

In a message posted on social media from festival director Ben Ray said: “It is with a very heavy heart we have to inform you that Slam Dunk Festival 2020 is postponed to 2021.

“We hung on to hope for as long as we could but with so many factors against us, we have had to accept the fact that it can’t go ahead.

“We had worked so hard to move it from May to September and with that we thought we had saved it for you, but sadly the outlook is not any better.

“We had been waiting for clear guidance on the matter and although this is still yet to come, we see no way that things will be back to normal enough by September.”

This year’s Slam Dunk edition was due to be co-headlined by Bedford band Don Broco and Canadian rockers Sum 41.

The Slam Dunk Festival 2021 line-up hasn’t officially been announced yet, but organisers have said it will look similar to the 2020 bill.

“We are currently working on the line-up, and should be able to reveal this quite quickly, as most bands due to play this year are able to come back for you in 2021,” said Ben Ray.

Tickets for Slam Dunk Festival 2020 will remain valid for Slam Dunk 2021.

“Please if you can, hold on to them,” said the festival director.

“If not, please contact your ticket provider as your money has always remained safely with them, and they will refund you.

“There will be a slight rise in ticket prices for 2021 due to increased costs of putting the event on so it will be worth holding on to them.

“Refunds will be available until the end of September and also tickets will remain on sale at their current price as an early bird ticket until then.”

Ben added: “Slam Dunk is an independent festival run by a small and committed team, all of whom hugely appreciate your patience and support on this.

“We will be announcing shortly some details of some merch and possibly other events to support us until we see you again in 2021.”

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