RIVERSIDE Festival ticket holders have been urged to be patient and not rush to claim a refund after the event was cancelled due to flooding
The festival was due to return to the Meadows on Saturday, but heavy rain over Thursday night caused the site to become waterlogged and forced organisers to cancel the event.
All ticket holders will be fully refunded but festival organiser Jenny Collins has asked people to be patient and not rush to get their money back. Refunds will be given at Stamford Arts Centre.
Mrs Collins said: “Stamford Arts Centre, which acted as the festival box office, is not used to a cancellation on this scale.
“All ticket holders will get their money back but I would ask that they do not all rush to the box office on Monday morning to claim their refund but spread it out over the week.”
Tickets were £5 for adults and £3 for children aged five to 12. To claim a refund people need to take their tickets to the arts centre in St Mary’s Street.
The festival was due to make its return after being cancelled last year following a dispute with Stamford Town Council.
In 2010 it celebrated its 10th anniversary by expanding to two days. But the council refused to issue a licence for 2011 because of an argument over a damaged bench.
The festival was only allowed to take place this year on the condition that tickets were sold and a maximum of 15,000 people were allowed on site during the day.
A statement on the Riverside Festival website said the festival had to be called off due to safety concerns.
It said: “The site is suffering from flooding in various places, including within the St John Ambulance marquee, and if it continues to rain there is a danger that the rivers surrounding the Festival site might overflow.
“Vehicles cannot currently use the site, which is waterlogged, which means that the organisers cannot continue with preparations for the festival, and have reluctantly had to call off the entire festival.
“We are currently in the process of contacting all of the performers and contractors involved in putting together the Festival, and we would appreciate your help in spreading the word.
“If you have purchased tickets for the event, please contact us or the Stamford Arts Centre in order to arrange for a full refund. We apologise for any inconvenience caused by the cancellation of the Festival.”
Mrs Collins said a meeting would be held to review whether the festival could be put on later in the year.
Stamford Town Council, which is responsible for looking after the Meadows, said it had nothing to do with the decision to call off the festival but fully understood why it had been taken.
Town clerk Patricia Stuart-Mogg said: “For clarity, it was the Riverside Association of Music and Arts who cancelled the Riverside Festival 2012 and not Stamford Town Council.
“The town council supported the decision they took, which was sensible in view of the condition and in light of their contractors refusing to access the site.
“It will have been no doubt very disappointing for Riverside Festival fans but for health and safety reasons the town council fully understands the reason why organisers took the decision not to go ahead with the event.”
Mercury readers have been commenting on the story on our Facebook page.
Vicki Corcoran wrote: “So sad, I was due to go there too, all that hard work for nothing.”
Keith Bucke added: “Feel sorry for everyone who had put a lot of work into setting this up.”
To see what people are saying and join the debate, visit www.facebook.com/rutlandandstamfordmercury
The Battle Proms at Burghley House in Stamford is still due to take place.
Burghley House said it would update its website if there are any changes to the event.