Doonhame Festival: Scottish music festival cancelled due to ‘impossible’ restrictions

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A second music festival in Scotland has been scrapped – just weeks before it was due to go ahead.

Organisers of the Doonhame Festival in Dumfries said the First Minister’s announcement this week on restrictions “made it impossible” to continue.

It was scheduled to run at The Crichton on July 30-31 and the line up included the Kaiser Chiefs, The Feeling, Bad Manners, and Toploader.

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The announcement came just days after Party At The Palace in Linlithgow was scrapped at the 11th hour, and was another huge setback for Scotland’s live music sector as it tries to start-up after the pandemic.

Ricky Wilson, lead singer Kaiser Chiefs. (Pic: Michael Gillen)Ricky Wilson, lead singer Kaiser Chiefs. (Pic: Michael Gillen)
Ricky Wilson, lead singer Kaiser Chiefs. (Pic: Michael Gillen)

Ticket holders were informed this morning that the festival had been cancelled “with great sadness and frustration.”

In a statement, the organisers said: “Following the First Minister’s announcement on Tuesday, by which the terms of Level Zero were unexpectedly amended, we have sadly no choice but to cancel Doonhame Festival and Doonhame Kids Festival 2021.”

It continued: “Only three weeks ago, we welcomed the positive announcement about the relaxation of physical distancing rules.

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“This, combined with support and encouragement received from Event Scotland and Dumfries & Galloway Council, gave us the confidence to keep planning ahead - but the revised legislation announced this week demanding 1m physical distancing between attendees, makes it impossible to deliver the festival.”

It said changes to guidance for hospitality services at outdoor events - requiring alcohol and food should be table service only - were a further barrier.

The statement added: “We have worked tirelessly to deliver all that has been asked of us by local authorities and the Scottish Government to ensure a safe and enjoyable festival, but the latest changes implemented cannot be overcome.”

The cancellation will have a ripple effect on the local economy, the organisers warned.

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“The festival would have offered much needed income for the countless staff, performers, local businesses and traders who have suffered so much during the past 18 months.

“To have to cancel at such short notice will have a devastating financial impact on them.”

Fans have been offered refunds or the option of transferring tickets to the 2022 festival.

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