GRASSINGTON Festival, due to celebrate its 40th anniversary this year has been cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Guidelines issued by the government have asked people to avoid social gatherings where possible.

The event was due to have been staged between June 12 and June 27 and all the artists have agreed to re-schedule their performances into the 2021 programme.

Chairman of the trustees and long-time festival organiser John Jameson said: “It is extremely disappointing. It’s the first time we have had to cancel but we must put our audiences and artistes’ safety first and foremost.”

Skipton Triathlon on April 19 is also a casualty and is now planned to take place on September 6.

Also cancelled is Pennine Cruisers’ Skipton Waterway Festival, due to be held from May 8 to 10.

Doubt has also been cast on Skipton Gala and Skipton’s Sheep Day festival.

Plastic Free Skipton’s Skipton Spring Clean on March 28, due to take place in locations across town has been cancelled.

Ideas of how to manage the crisis and help others are being shared on a new Facebook page, Skipton Step Into Action. Join the group to share tips and ideas.

A Feel Good Fair on April 5 at Rendezvous in association with the Mind charity has been postponed to September 6.

Elsewhere, Settle Victoria Hall has been forced to postpone its schedule of performances and events, but has set up a ‘community response hub’ where people can gather information and practical help while self-isolating. The website for information is

Also making themselves available are staff from Hunters Proctor and Co estate agents who will collect shopping and items for the over 70s if self-isolation is imposed.

Laura Ashley has blamed the virus for it going into administraton this week after rescue talks were halted.

It operates 150 UK stores with around 2,700 staff.