Calderdale festival organisers provide update on historical event

Organisers of a popular Calderdale festival have provided a latest on whether the event will go ahead.

Thursday, 16th July 2020, 5:42 pm
Updated Friday, 17th July 2020, 1:45 pm
Sowerby BridgeRushbearing festival

Sowerby Bridge Rushbearing festival 2020 was set to take place between September 4 and 6, but organisers have said it has had to cancel the event amid the coronavirus pandemic.

This year would have been the 44th event in its history, but the reason for cancelling has been revealed to be of a 'health and safety' matter due to Covid-19 still being present within the area.

Sowerby Bridge Rushbearing Association chairman, Gareth Baigent said: "We have taken the very difficult decision to cancel this year's Sowerby Bridge Rushbearing festival.

Sowerby Bridge Rushbearing Association chairman, Gareth Baigent

"This decision maintains the health, safety and well being of the public, the dance teams and our members.

"This is not a decision we have taken lightly and I'm very disappointed.

"This would have been our 44th edition.

"We're unable to put appropriate control measures in place for our event.

Rodney Oldfield

"We would be unable to meet current guidance to apply for an event licence and I consider the probability the alert level [of coronavirus] is reduced by the time of the event, unlikely."

Additionally, the festival organisers wanted to pay tribute to Rodney Oldfield, who was an original founding member, but sadly died earlier this year.

"We were looking forward to celebrating Rodney's life at this year's event and our traditional annual badge for 2020 will be a tribute to him," said Mr Baigent.

"Take care, look after yourselves and others and see you all in 2021. I am already looking forward to it."

Sowerby BridgeRushbearing festival
Sowerby BridgeRushbearing festival
Rodney Oldfield tributes
Organisers of a popular Calderdale festival have provided a latest on whether the event will go ahead