Preston's Windrush 73 Festival cancelled with 48 hours to go

Preston's Windrush 73 Festival has been cancelled at the last minute after the local authority expressed health and safety concerns about the event.

By Richard Hunt
Saturday, 14th August 2021, 10:29 am
Windrush 73 Festival has been cancelled
Windrush 73 Festival has been cancelled

The festival, which celebrates the contribution made to Britain by people who came to the county from Caribbean the1940s, was due to be staged this summer at Hurst Grange Park tomorrow (Sunday August 15).

In a statement, South Ribble Council said it had been working with the organisers to try and ensure it could go ahead but they had still not received enough information about the festival.

In response, festival organiser Adrian Murrell, who stages the event with Windrush Initiatives, gave a statement on his Facebook site.

Apologising for the cancellation, he said: "Hi everybody, you must have heard the rumours by now that Windrush 73 has been cancelled by South Ribble Council.

"We tried our best to get over the line but it didn't seem to matter what we did, it didn't seem to be good enough.

"I'm gutted for everybody."

He said food vendors, dancers and singers who had prepared for the festival had been informed.

He vowed that the event would still be staged but not at Hurst Grange Park or in South Ribble.

Gary Hall, Chief Executive of South Ribble Borough Council said: “We’ve been working with the organisers and given as much time as possible to try and ensure the event can go ahead safely and with regard to those living nearby and ensure an enjoyable experience for visitors.

“Unfortunately the event organisers did not provide adequate information for the event in time and there were outstanding safety concerns meaning we had to make the decision to stand down resources and require that the event be cancelled.

“If a new date is arranged we will work with the festival organisers so that it can go ahead.

“We appreciate a lot of work has gone into the event and it is something people will have been looking forward to but the safety of visitors and park users is our main priority.”

The festival has been held in Preston for the past eight years but was cancelled last year because of the coronavirus pandemic.