THE four day Beat-Herder music festival due to be held next month at Sawley, near Gisburn, has been cancelled for a second year.

In a statement published on its website, organisers say they are ‘utterly gutted and heartbroken’ to have had to cancel and hope people will want to hang onto their tickets until 2022, although refunds are being offered.

The festival, which was to have taken place from July 14 to July 17 was to have marked the 15th anniversary of the hugely popular festival which brings thousands to the Ribble Valley and which had already been delayed from 2019.

Tickets for the event, which was to have included Mura Masa, The Wailers, Mollie Collins and Heidi, had sold out by the end of February.

A statement posted on the Beat-Herder website at the end of April reads: “We are utterly gutted and heart-broken to announce the postponement of the 2021 festival.

“In a nutshell we can’t insure the festival against Covid cancellation and we won’t gamble all of your your ticket money and the future of the festival itself on any eventuality of Covid or government intervention.

“We really do hope you can stay with us for the 2022 coming together extravaganza party we’re all waiting for, praying for and badly needing.”

The statement goes on to say organisers had been wrestling with the decision for months and that it had been incredibly difficult, especially against an optimistic outlook at the time.

“Beat-Herder has always been insured against the risk of cancellation. We’ve always known, should we have to pull the plug for whatever reason, we’d always be able to refund ticket holders without leaving our suppliers, contractors, staff and artists out of pocket.

“Unfortunately, within the festival world, Covid-19 specific cancellation insurance does not exist. We’ve been holding out for Government intervention, hoping that they would be willing to stand behind their roadmap and back Covid-19 cancellation insurance policies. Sadly, this has not happened in time for Beat-Herder 2021.

“Beat-Herder is an independent festival that costs millions of pounds to set up. As much as 50 per cent is spent in the months leading up to the festival on deposits and pre event work. Without insurance and despite the welcome help provided via the Covid Recovery Fund grant, we’re simply not in a financial position to go ahead without risking precious hard earned ticket money and our reputation and livelihood.”

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