The safety and welfare of those on the festival site, alongside the safety of the wider Island community, are rightly the highest priorities for the organisers. The council believes this decision is the right one in these difficult circumstances.
There’s been much criticism online of the Festival for not making this announcement earlier.
Council leader, Councillor Dave Stewart, said:
“I understand the disappointment this will bring to many people and the impact on businesses both on the Island and beyond.
“I appreciate how hard it will have been to have made this decision, and I want to thank the festival organisers for making the sensible choice.
“The Isle of Wight Festival is one of the most popular events in the country, and I am confident that it will be back, even stronger, in the future.”
On the 16 March 2020 (ten days ago) the Government announced, “From tomorrow government will no longer be “supporting” mass gatherings using emergency workers.”
Licences required to run events of this size, specify that police have to be in attendance.
The news back then from the Government seemed to imply that, as the police would not be able to attend, IW Festival would not be able to continue.
OnTheWight first asked these questions that evening to the PR company who handle media queries about the Festival. There was no response. The followup two days later also received no update.
The Isle of Wight Festival say they are working with ticketing partners who will be in touch to process refunds, or you can retain your ticket to carry over to the 2021 Festival.
See their Website for more information.
Image: © Sara Lincoln