THERE are still hopes for the Bingley Weekender festival to go ahead, its organisers have said. 

The event, which began after Bingley Music Live was scrapped, has become a hotly-anticipated date in the calendar.

Last year’s festival, from SSD Concerts, had to be postponed because of the Covid-19 pandemic and this year’s is tipped to take place between Friday, August 6 and Sunday, August 8.

Bingley Weekender filled the void left by Bingley Music Live. 

Back in April 2019 and after weeks of speculation, Bradford Council announced the hugely popular festival would not be running that year.

The Council said at the time that it had taken a “difficult decision” to scrap the festival, which was due to be held in Myrtle Park in late August.

The 2018 event ran at a loss - going £300,000 over budget - and questions about its future were raised after no announcements about the 2019 lineup were made.

It had arguably become the most popular annual event in the district, attracting stellar line-ups and tens of thousands of people to the town each year.

In recent weeks, concerns have been raised with the Telegraph & Argus that they hadn’t heard anything about Bingley Weekender for some time. A statement issued to the Telegraph & Argus said it was hoped it would go ahead, but further clarification would be needed. 

“Bingley Weekender is planning to go ahead this August and we’re keeping abreast of all government guidelines,” said the statement.

It added: “Of course, this is an uncertain time for the live music industry, but we’re hopeful that we’ll be able to deliver a first class weekend of live music for our customers. We are feeling positive but need further clarification which hopefully will come very soon. We will be making a further announcement as soon as we can.”

Meanwhile, Bees Camping, at Bradford & Bingley Sports Club, where the festival is held said on Facebook: “Fingers crossed that after tonight’s trial gig in Liverpool that we get the go ahead to put on Bingley Weekender.”

Thousands of revellers without face coverings danced shoulder-to-shoulder to live music for the first time in more than a year at a pilot music festival last Sunday.

Around 5,000 people packed into Sefton Park in Liverpool for the outdoor gig, which included performances from Blossoms, The Lathums and Liverpool singer-songwriter Zuzu. Everyone had to provide a negative coronavirus test to enter the venue, but they did not have to wear face coverings or follow social distancing rules.

Researchers at the event will examine the movements and behaviour of the crowd as part of the Events Research Programme, which will provide evidence to inform decisions around the removal of social distancing at stage four of the Government’s road map out of lockdown.

The final step - no earlier than June 21 - is when the Government hopes to be in a position to remove all legal limits on social contact. At this point it’s hoped things like nightclubs could re-open and restrictions on large events and performances be eased.  

This will be subject to the results of the Events Research Programme to test the outcome of pilot events through the spring and summer, like the one in Liverpool, where the use of testing and other techniques will be trialled to cut the infection risk.