Wilkestock organisers ‘devastated’ at cancelling charity music festival

PUBLISHED: 18:24 20 May 2020 | UPDATED: 19:25 25 May 2020

Slaves headlined the Saturday night at Wilkestock Festival 2019. Picture: Mary Cullen

Slaves headlined the Saturday night at Wilkestock Festival 2019. Picture: Mary Cullen

Mary Cullen

Heartbroken organisers have cancelled this year’s charity music festival Wilkestock due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Slaves headlined the Saturday night at Wilkestock Festival 2019. Picture: Mary CullenSlaves headlined the Saturday night at Wilkestock Festival 2019. Picture: Mary Cullen

Wilkestock 2020 was due to take place in the Hertfordshire countryside at Frogmore Hill – between Watton-at-Stone and Stevenage – from Friday, September 4 to Sunday, September 6.

However, with mass gatherings still banned amid the COVID-19 crisis, festival promoters have called off this year’s event.

The festival will now return from September 3 to September 5, 2021.

Team Wilkestock posted on the festival’s Instagram page: “We are devastated to announce that, due to the uncertainty around events this year, Wilkestock 2020 has been cancelled.

The 2020 Wilkestock Charity Music Festival has been cancelled.The 2020 Wilkestock Charity Music Festival has been cancelled.

“If you have purchased tickets, don’t worry: they will be valid for next year!

“As a charity festival, we’d be ever so grateful if you could hold on to your tickets for 2021 so that we may continue to operate.

“Wilkestock 2021 will take place from 3rd to 5th September.”

The update added: “We have been closely following the Government guidance and seeking professional advice since the lockdown began in March 2020.

Revellers enjoying Wilkestock Festival 2019. Picture: Mary CullenRevellers enjoying Wilkestock Festival 2019. Picture: Mary Cullen

“It’s become clearer and clearer that Wilkestock would not be able to deliver the kind of event that we all know and love, and with the current situation still ongoing we feel this is the safest and most responsible action to take.”

All profits from Wilkestock are donated to leukaemia research charity Bloodwise and Keswick Mountain Rescue Team – two charities close to the organisers’ hearts.

A post on Wilkestock’s Facebook page said: “This news will undoubtedly be disappointing for not only our loyal Wilkestockers, but also the hundreds of bands, DJs, volunteers, security, traders, and of course, our beloved charities.”

Last year’s festival featured headline performances from Slaves and We Are Scientists.

We Are Scientists headlined the Friday night at Wilkestock Festival 2019. Picture: Mary CullenWe Are Scientists headlined the Friday night at Wilkestock Festival 2019. Picture: Mary Cullen

Organisers are looking to take some special performances online and into care homes as a thank you to this “neglected” sector during the current pandemic.

The Facebook post added: “Wilkestock has always been a great supporter of local and national grassroots music, traders and community, and so we’d like to announce that Wilkestock will be taking local musicians on the road in Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire to perform in our amazing care homes.

“Care homes have been incredibly neglected during this crisis, and many of their residents do not even have the means to contact their loved ones.

“We hope by giving them the opportunity to gather (safely!) and enjoy some top-notch music, this may help to lift their spirits.

Slaves headlined the Saturday night at Wilkestock Festival 2019. Picture: Mary CullenSlaves headlined the Saturday night at Wilkestock Festival 2019. Picture: Mary Cullen

“In addition to this, we will be streaming this live and giving viewers the opportunity to donate directly to a fund for providing tablets to care homes, so they too can Zoom and FaceTime their friends and families.

“More information will be available for this soon via our Facebook page.”

The update continued: “We want to take this opportunity to thank all NHS, frontline and key workers across the UK for their magnificent, ongoing work to keep us safe and well. We love you!

“We apologise for any disappointment caused: we’re truly devastated!

View this post on Instagram

We are devastated to announce that, due to the uncertainty around events this year, Wilkestock 2020 has been cancelled. If you have purchased tickets, don't worry: they will be valid for next year! As a charity festival, we'd be ever so grateful if you could hold on to your tickets for 2021 so that we may continue to operate. Wilkestock 2021 will take place from 3rd to 5th September. We have been closely following the government guidance and seeking professional advice since the lockdown began in March 2020. It's become clearer and clearer that Wilkestock would not be able to deliver the kind of event that we all know and love, and with the current situation still ongoing we feel this is the safest and most responsible action to take. This news will undoubtedly be disappointing for not only our loyal Wilkestockers, but also the hundreds of bands, DJs, volunteers, security, traders, and of course - our beloved charities. Wilkestock has always been a great supporter of local and national grassroots music, traders and community, and so we'd like to announce that Wilkestock will be taking local musicians on the road in Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire to perform in our amazing care homes. Care homes have been incredibly neglected during this crisis, and many of their residents do not even have the means to contact their loved ones. We hope by giving them the opportunity to gather (safely!) and enjoy some top-notch music, this may help to lift their spirits. In addition to this - we will be streaming this LIVE and giving viewers the opportunity to donate directly to a fund for providing tablets to care homes, so they too can Zoom and FaceTime their friends and families. More information will be available for this soon via our Facebook page. We want to take this opportunity to thank all NHS, frontline and key workers across the UK for their magnificent, ongoing work to keep us safe and well. We love you! We apologise for any disappointment caused: we're truly devastated! If you have any queries or would like to request a refund, please contact boxoffice@wilkestock.com. We will be back… bigger, better and bolder in 2021: watch this space! Team Wilkestock x

A post shared by Wilkestock Festival (@wilkestock) on

“If you have any queries or would like to request a refund, please contact boxoffice@wilkestock.com.”

Team Wilkestock added: “We will be back… bigger, better and bolder in 2021: watch this space!”

Visit www.wilkestock.com for more on the festival.


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