'It's a real shame' - Bury Festival cancelled for 2021

Aurora Orchestra who are appearing at the Bury Festival 2020 Photo:Nick Rutter

The Aurora Orchestra, who were due to appear at the Bury Festival in 2020 - Credit: Archant

A major cultural festival held annually in Bury St Edmunds will not go ahead this year, organisers have announced. 

The Bury Festival, which takes place in a number of venues around the town in May, has been cancelled for 2021 due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. 

West Suffolk Council said due to the uncertainty around the pandemic, it has been difficult to plan acts for the festival. 

The council added that its current focus is ensuring that town centre venue The Apex is back up and running as quickly as possible. 

John Griffiths, leader of West Suffolk District Council. Picture: WEST SUFFOLK COUNCILS

Leader of West Suffolk Council John Griffiths said it was sad that the event could not go ahead - Credit: Archant

John Griffiths, leader of West Suffolk Council, said it was sad that the festival could not go ahead, but said the authority had to be "practical". 

“We are of course sad not to be able to go ahead with the Bury Festival in May, which is one of the highlights of the year and involves many parts of the town," he said. 

"The festival has always added to the rich cultural programme that takes place throughout the year, for example at The Apex which West Suffolk Council also supports.

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"We have had to be practical with infections rising and could not be confident of holding the festival again this year, not least given our priority of keeping residents safe."

The council said it is also working to ensure that the Moments exhibition at Moyse's Hall Museum, which has been rescheduled to May 1 through to September 30, is a big success and Covid-secure. 

The exhibition will include works by Banksy, Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin, and the Connor Brothers. 

Mr Griffiths added: "The nationally important Moments exhibition will be an exciting addition to West Suffolk’s cultural diary for 2021 and will go some way to making up for the festival’s absence, as well as being part of the council’s wider support of the local economy and businesses."

West Suffolk Council cabinet member for leisure and communities Jo Rayner. Picture: PHIL MORLEY

West Suffolk Council cabinet member for leisure and communities Jo Rayner. Picture: PHIL MORLEY - Credit: Archant

This is the second year running the festival has been cancelled due to Covid-19, with the 2020 event also axed due to the pandemic. 

Jo Rayner, portfolio holder for leisure, culture and community hubs, added: “It is a real shame that the festival won’t take place again this year.

"But with so much uncertainty surrounding when venues will be open again and how many tickets we would be able to sell for each event, it has made it very difficult to put a programme together for the festival.

"While this was a hard but practical decision, we know 2021 will get better and with a very full Apex diary for the rest of the year.

"When we are able to fully reopen there is going to be plenty going on and we can’t wait to welcome back old and new customers.

"We would also like to thank everybody for your ongoing support during these challenging times.”

Tickets can now be purchased for the Moments exhibition by booking online here or by calling 01284 758000.