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Bournemouth Air Festival and other Dorset events cancelled

Red Arrows at Bournemouth Air Festival

Following the current COVID-19 pandemic, Bournemouth Air Festival has now been postponed to 2021.

The air show, which is the largest in the UK, has new dates set for 2nd – 5th September 2021.

Bournemouth Air Festival, which usually attracts masses of people, was rescheduled due to safety concerns. Unfortunately, this means that local businesses will take a major financial hit – although a necessary measure.

Other events that have been cancelled include Great Dorset Steam Fair, Dorset County Show, Summer Fireworks, the summer events programme on Poole Quay, BSO Concerts in Meyrick Park, Christchurch Food Festival, Camp Bestival and Gillingham & Shaftesbury Show.

Councillor Vikki Slade, Leader of BCP Council, said:

“Our immensely popular summer events programme, including the Bournemouth Air Festival, attracts millions of visitors to the area bringing over £32 million income to our local businesses and supports the council’s services through our seafront offering.

“In response to the recent government guidance around the easing of lockdown, it will no longer be possible that events planned to take place this summer in public outdoor open space can go ahead.

“Cancelling major events and festivals is a decision we don’t take lightly. The most important consideration is the health of our residents, and the safety of everyone involved including visitors, festival-goers, exhibitors, traders, staff, contractors, and the many more who contribute and play a part in delivering those much-loved events.

“Our NHS and emergency services have coped incredibly well during the Covid-19 pandemic and we would not want to risk this changing, or to try to manage events whilst adhering to government measures and advice including on social distancing.

“The government’s guidance indicated that hospitality businesses are not likely to open before July. We know there are many hotels, restaurants, bars and local contractors serving this industry whose livelihoods rely on the summer events programme and we want to assure those businesses – including the 17,000 plus people employed in this sector – that BCP Council will do everything we can to support you and work together with you to come through this.

“We’re looking at every feasible option to help to sustain this industry, and with this we have already committed to deliver a refreshed Air Festival in 2021.”

Councillor Vikki Slade, Leader of BCP Council
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