Shock as Stamford’s Riverside Festival called off

The Riverside Festival in 2009
The Riverside Festival in 2009

Organisers of Stamford’s popular Riverside Festival have been forced to cancel the event for the second year running.

The festival, which is usually held on The Meadows in July, was called off at the last minute in 2012 after the site flooded.

The Riverside Association of Music and Arts, which organises the not-for-profit event, hoped to bring back the festival this year.

But insurers have still not paid out for last year’s cancellation, so it has cancelled this year’s event as well.

Association director Jenny Collins said: “While that is up in the air we are not in a position to plan anything for the future. We are chasing as hard as we can. We hope we might be able to do some smaller things but nothing on the scale of previous festivals.

“With the flooding that has gone on trying to get any kind of insurance is going to be almost impossible.

“We are having our AGM on March 3 when we hope to be in a position to know a little more.”

Last year the festival was due to make its return after a year off.

It would have been ticketed for the first time and more than 40 bands and musicians were booked to play across four stages.

Mrs Collins added: “It has been the most awful experience for all of us. No-one could have predicted it.

“We were all on such a high. Everything was going so well.

“It is a real shame and everyone is feeling absolutely gutted.”

Coun Mike Exton (Con) chairman of Stamford Town Council’s amenities committee, which oversees events on The Meadows, sympathised with the festival organisers, saying: “As a council we try to support them and it is a shame that the economics don’t always work out as you would think.

“I really feel sorry for the directors and the people that come into the town.”

He said the next big event planned on The Meadows is the Mid-Lent Fair in March.

The site will be checked about a week before to see whether ground conditions are suitable.

“We don’t want to cancel events but we have got to protect the area for the future,” he said.