You are here:Home/Announcement – Carnival 2020 to be postponed for 1 year
It is with great regret that Saffron Walden Round Table has taken the difficult decision to postpone the 8 Day Weekend Carnival planned for July this year. With significant uncertainty and risks as a result of COVID-19, this decision has been made in line with the advice from the Government and our desire and obligation to provide a safe event environment for all our suppliers, performers, volunteers and of course the entire community who support us in their thousands. A number of key front line personnel for whom it is mandatory that we have present throughout Carnival, such as St Johns Ambulance, are also unavailable as they will be required to support the wider community in their key worker capacity.
Chairman Nick Head said “While we know many people who have already purchased tickets will be disappointed, it is important that we prioritise the health and safety of all those involved. Carnival has been a feature in this town since the 1950’s, so we are aiming to simply pause proceeding at this time and hope to celebrate Carnival in style next year!! ‘The show will go on’, and this great community event will take place. I am currently working with all those we have contracts with in order to minimise the financial loss caused by this decision and we hope that everyone will bear with and support us through these challenging times. We really feel for our suppliers who are going through particularly tough times right now with multiple event cancellations. It is heart-breaking to have to undo all the work we have undertaken since January 2019 but I am more confident than ever that the town will be behind us and it will give everyone something positive to look forward to. I would like to thank all the Round Table members who are working incredibly hard behind the scenes in these unprecedented times, and also to our Partners who are demonstrating their loyalty by sticking with us.
Some people may question why we have taken the decision to postpone as early as March therefore I would like to address a few points. There are a number of legal requirements we must follow as event organisers and we have to stage the Carnival in accordance with our event management plan. With no emergency service personnel, our doors simply cannot open. We fully support the decision for all emergency and key workers to redirect their efforts to the NHS and wider community at this time. Secondly, there is the financial aspect. Our supplier contracts come with significant cancellation penalties and for an event that costs £250,000 to hold, we have a small window within which to minimise our exposure. With the exception of 1 supplier, everyone has been supportive and agreed to move our booking until 2021.
As a result of these exceptional circumstances, tickets purchased via our website will be eligible for a full refund and details will be announced next week. In view of our intention to move the event to 2021, existing tickets will be valid when the new dates are announced. Customers who would like to attend next year do not need to do anything at this time and I am working to secure both the new dates and the acts for 2021. We will announce more information as soon as we are able to do so.”
Any questions can be emailed to email@example.com but we do ask for your patience with regards to a response, as we work through them as quickly as possible. Some FAQ’s are down below on the page
Many local organisations, charities and great causes will be impacted by the decision not to hold a Carnival this year. In prior years the profits made have been used to make material differences to 1000’s of local people. Saffron Walden Round Table is still committed to using its resources and available funds to help those in need, particularly at this time.
We understand that many people have been adversely affected by the impact of Covid-19 but for those who can and would like to, we are making it possible to make a donation so that we can continue our great work in the community.
Please click on the link below to make a donation to the charitable trust of Saffron Walden Round Table.
I have already purchased a ticket. Am I entitled to a refund?
Yes. Any person who has purchased a ticket via our official website is entitled to a full refund based on the extreme circumstances that have caused the postponement of Carnival 2020. We understand that it is not always easy to secure a ticket for some of our events which is why we would like to offer all those people the chance the roll their ticket over to next year. Those who prefer a refund will be able to contact us in the coming days in order to secure that. The option of a refund will remain available until 30th September 2020. For those who are happy to keep their ticket for next year, there is nothing further you need to do at this time.
Will the Act I purchased a ticket to see perform at Carnival 2021?
We have worked hard to secure as many of our acts for 2021 but it is too early for some to commit as a result of major rescheduling. We will announce the line-up as soon as we can but at least 75% have already indicated they will play at the rescheduled Carnival.
I have a ticket for Queen and if I ask for a refund, am I guaranteed to get a ticket if I later decide I would like to come to the revised night?
No. There is still a waiting list of over 300 for our popular Queen tribute night. Any tickets that are refunded will be offered to the next in line on our waiting list as soon as we are in a position to announce more information.
I’m not sure if can attend the new dates in 2021
Please request a refund by the 30th September 2020. We do not know the revised dates as yet.
Is the Golf Day going ahead?
We have been working with the Golf Club and reached a joint decision that the golf day is to be postponed. A new date will be offered to all those who have entered and paid for a team and a communication will be sent separately with the details.
I was meant to be helping at the event – what’s happening now?
We will still need your help and support, but not this year. There is nothing you need to do at this stage. Our manning team will make contact in 2021.
Can’t you just rearrange the Carnival later in the summer / later in the year?
Unfortunately not. The Carnival is underwritten personally by the 20 members of Saffron Walden Round Table and both the financial and health risks are too much of an unknown at this time. It takes 18 months to organise the Carnival and would be near impossible to do it as such short notice. We also have contractual obligations that carry huge penalties for late cancellation and need to mindful of these. We also require the support of the emergency services and at this is not the right time to be detracting them from the great work they are doing in the community.
What about the procession?
A new date will be issued in due course and everybody will get an extra year to plan and build their float.
I was advertising in the programme
There will still be a programme and we would very much like for you to continue to do so. We intend to sell the few remaining advertising spaces but will refund you if you choose to no longer advertise with us.