Shropshire folk festival allowed to go ahead with 800 people attending

The hosts of a folk festival have confirmed the event is going ahead this weekend, with around 800 people attending and social distancing measures in place.

The event is taking place at Hopton Court Estate
The event is taking place at Hopton Court Estate

The four-day Beardy Folk Festival is taking place at Hopton Court near Cleobury Mortimer until Sunday.

Chris Woodward, owner of the Hopton Court Estate, said that the event was taking place in accordance with government measures, and Shropshire Council confirmed they had given it their seal of approval.

Mr Woodward said that those watching performances at the festival would remain in social bubbles of six, sitting inside marked areas, distanced from other bubbles.

He said people would then be expected to adhere to social distancing on the rest of the site – as expected in streets, towns and parks across the country – and that marshals would be in place.

He said: "It has not been an easy thing to do because of the social distancing aspect of it but we have done it and we are rather proud of ourselves for doing it."

'Safe, responsible, socially-distanced'

A spokesman for Shropshire Council said: "Whilst we are absolutely committed to supporting businesses and organisations to get back to normal, we cannot ignore the fact that we are still in a pandemic. We simply cannot be complacent and must now, more than ever, continue to do everything we can to stop the spread of Covid-19.

"Shropshire Council has been liaising with the organiser of the event to assist them to adhere to general health and safety requirements and the legal requirements and Government guidelines that relate to Covid-19.

“The council has worked closely with the festival organisers to ensure this event can go ahead in a safe, responsible and socially-distanced way.

“The capacity for this event is capped at 1,000, with stringent Covid-secure measures in place. The capacity number also includes all volunteers, crew and artists.

“Members from Shropshire Council’s regulatory services team will also be in attendance to ensure all safety measures are in place and being adhered to.”

The festival's website says the event will feature a variety of music on two stages, with food and drink and a trade village.

It says: "Beardy Folk is an outdoor, beautifully crafted, midsummer music weekend boasting a brilliant line up of folk, roots and acoustic music.

"All set in the private grounds and secret walled garden of Hopton Court in South Shropshire.

"There's two music stages, artisan food and drink, world class music, a small trade village, plus free children's entertainment and activities including circus workshops, woodland activities and storytelling.

"There's also up to four nights camping or glamping available with incredible views."

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