The Trad Boat Festival organisers were hoping that the event planned for 17-19 July was still going to be able to take place this year but they announced the cancellation on Sunday.
Chair of the Trad Boat Festival Hon Judy McAlpine wrote:
“From the outset of these very difficult and fast-evolving times, the Committee of the Thames Traditional Boat Festival took the decision to evaluate carefully and sensitively all possible options that might allow the Festival to be held in some form this year, and not to cancel until we really believed there was no alternative action available to us.
While the cancellation of the Henley Royal Regatta provided new and expensive challenges, with stored bulky Regatta infrastructure and heavy equipment blocking crucial sections of the Upper Meadows site, it is the extended timetable that we are now seeing applied to the easing of restrictions that ultimately stands in the way of us being able to hold the Festival this year.
While we now truly have no option in this matter, we nonetheless write with very heavy hearts. The Thames Traditional Boat Festival is a hugely popular feature in the summer calendar, drawing visitors from around the globe while supporting so many local businesses. The small Committee works hard from the close of each Trad to make the following year’s event as perfect as possible, and we were very excited about the event we were offering this year. We considered arranging a casual one day get together on the site later in the year, but even this now looks beset by on-going restrictions.
We are most grateful to those who have already generously pledged their advance payments as donations, towards the staging of the 2021 Trad. Thank you.”