Suffolk Show 2021 is cancelled because of coronavirus uncertainty
PUBLISHED: 06:00 30 September 2020 | UPDATED: 10:28 30 September 2020
Organisers of the Suffolk Show have decided to cancel next year’s event after deeming it not possible to hold “safely and with confidence”.
The shock news follows the cancellation of this year’s event – which should have taken place under the direction of Woodbridge farmer Bruce Kerr – because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Show organisers the Suffolk Agricultural Association (SAA) said it had taken the decision “with regret” and added that it was an “extraordinarily difficult” decision.
The two-day event – held at Trinity Park, Ipswich, every year – attracts around 90,000 visitors but the virus crisis and social distancing rules have wreaked havoc across the hospitality and events sector.
MORE – Many questions left hanging as Suffolk Show organisers look to next year
The volunteer committee – made up of local volunteer farmers – has met on several occasions “to consider whether or not it would be possible to safely, and with confidence, put on a 2021 show akin to the 2019 event”, the SAA said.
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“The conclusion reached, with so much uncertainty over the coming months, reinforced by the latest government guidelines, was that putting on the show we all wish for, set against the risks of it being allowed to happen in the way we would intend, led to the decision to cancel the 2021 event with immediate effect,” it added.
Show director Bruce Kerr said: “This has been an extraordinarily difficult decision to take but we felt it right at this particular time, in order to create clarity sooner rather than later and further reduce any potential health and safety, reputational and financial risks to the association.
“While recognising this is hugely disappointing for so many, we do feel that over the course of the 2021, we can put on activities central to our core purpose and to this end are planning a series of smaller focused events, such as equine and livestock shows.”
Chairman of the board of trustees David Nunn – who farms at Stowupland – said: “All agreed that anything less than a show like that of 2019 just wouldn’t reflect what we want to offer our visitors. All our efforts will now be focused on navigating ourselves through the next year and planning for a fantastic show in 2022.”
The SAA – a charity based at Trinity Park – was set up to promote food, farming and the countryside among the wider public. The show is by far its biggest event and offers a huge boost to the local and regional economy as well an opportunity to network and showcase Suffolk produce.
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