With a heavy heart we have taken the decision to cancel the Cycle Touring Festival 2020 (although read on for details of a virtual alternative). It seems highly unlikely that the current crisis will have calmed down by the end of May, and we would prefer to take the decision now, before too many people start making travel arrangements. The health of our community is the priority and we wouldn’t want to put anyone at unnecessary risk. A slight twist is that Tim & I are also expecting a new addition to our family later this year, and so we need to follow government guidance on social isolation – which is not particularly compatible with organising a festival for 300 people.
What happens now?
Everyone who has bought a ticket to this year’s festival will receive a refund and will receive a separate email from me in the near future about this. I have been overwhelmed by the generosity of people who have emailed to offer some or all of their ticket cost to cover the deposit that we have already paid. It’s a testament to how wonderful this cycle touring tribe is. However, I am really pleased to say that Waddow Hall has agreed to transfer our deposit to next year’s festival, so there is no need. This is incredibly generous of Waddow Hall, as they are a charity, being owned by Girlguiding.
The sharp eyed among you will have realised that this means that we already have a date for next year’s festival. It will take place on 28-31 May 2021, at Waddow Hall in Clitheroe. Get it in your diary now.
It is not possible to transfer tickets to next year. If you bought a ticket for 2020, this will be refunded and you would need to buy a new ticket in 2021.
A virtual festival
To keep the spirit of the festival alive, we are proposing to run some online events over the weekend of 25-26 April. You can see more information here. Sharing photos of yourself out cycling (if we’re allowed out!), online webinars and talks, streamed films and Twitter Q&As with speakers are a few of our initial ideas but we’d love to hear from you with more. Please email us your suggestions or share them on our Facebook group and we’ll put together a programme for the weekend, which everyone will be able to access, free of charge.
In the meantime, best of luck for getting through the next few weeks and months. The toughest of hill climbs come to an end, and so will this.
Laura & the festival team