Stone's music festival cancelled in July

A Staffordshire town’s annual music festival will not go ahead in July – but there are hopes it will make a return later in the year.

Stone High Street
Stone High Street

During previous summers Stone has hosted several fun family events – but the coronavirus pandemic put a stop to a number of gatherings in 2020, while other occasions moved online such as the Christmas lights switch on.

Stone Town Council is now considering moving its July music festival to a later date in 2021 if conditions allow.

A number of larger musical extravaganzas across the country have already been postponed until later in the year, including the Isle of Wight Festival. But others, including Glastonbury Festival and Bluedot, will not take place until 2022.

Stone councillors are hoping that music fans will only have to wait two months longer than usual for their annual town centre revelry however.

At the latest tourism and town promotion committee meeting council members agreed to cancel the July festival date but reconsider in the coming months if an event could take place later in the year.

Councillor Rob Kenney said: “As soon as possible after June 21 we could make a decision. We will know more about what’s happening with regards to Covid.

“We normally go for the second Saturday in July – let’s make a provisional date of the second Saturday of September and we will confirm with everyone come June.

Committee chairman Councillor Jill Hood said: “We don’t know the effects post-Covid – hopefully we’re getting into better times now. We can’t see into the future – we don’t know what state the country’s going to be in and what permissions we are going to have to put on events.

“We can be optimistic I’m sure. It’s all about hope and having something to look forward to.”

Councillor Philip Leason said: “As soon as people are being allowed to travel, I think people will want to go to the seaside, abroad and so on. I think in July the attendance might be pretty low.”

Councillor Jonathan Powell said: “My thoughts are we postpone it to later in the year. We will have a better idea the further we go along this year as to the likelihood, so it could be deferred for discussion at a later date.

“I think maybe September would be good. We still have a certain amount of good weather, it’s after any summer holidays so people are more than likely back because schools are going back.”

Councillor Jim Davies said: “I fully understand about the music festival – we don’t have to have it in July. We can have it at a later date if we felt that was better. I think we have got to be very flexible in what we do.

“We could postpone it for a couple of months, so we’ve still got it in the calendar, but perhaps we could link it with something else we do in September.

“Last meeting we were discussing a Covid-19 commemoration, bringing the community back together again, and that’s something we should keep in mind to do this year once we’re happy this pandemic is fully under control.

“I spoke to Reverend Ian Cardinal because he was looking at doing something from the church’s point of view – he would be very keen to be involved with that as part of the whole community getting together. I think that would be a very invaluable event to take place but the format is probably a bit too early to say.”

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