A popular Tayside music festival has called off its 2021 event because of coronavirus uncertainty.
Bonfest Kirriemuir, an annual festival inspired by Bon Scott from AC/DC, was due to take place back in May this year, but had to be called off and replaced with an online event because of the coronavirus outbreak.
However, the festival’s organiser John Crawford has now announced the 2021 festival has also been called off in a bid to protect the charity arm of the festival, DD8 Music.
He said: “It was a difficult decision to make but for financial security it is the only option we had.
“We were totally finished planning the 2021 festival, all the bands were booked in, but we need to start spending some serious money now on deposits, tickets and structures.
“If it then didn’t go ahead because of the coronavirus situation we would lose all that money.
“Bonfest comes under the umbrella of the DD8 Music charity and we can’t put the charity at risk of financial loss, which is why we have taken the extremely hard decision of postponing until 2022.
“It makes financial sense, it keeps the charity going and means we have the finances to put on the 2022 event as we know it rather than having a scaled down version or not having it at all.”
John also said he was worried people would not buy tickets for the event anyway because of coronavirus fears, and said he wants to avoid bringing the virus to the Angus town.
He added: “The government guidelines are only getting worse and I can’t see being allowed to have 2,500 in a tent and packed pubs in Kirriemuir by May.
“We are only about six months away now and I can’t even go to see my mum, never mind mix with thousands of other people.
“Usually we out our tickets out on sale on October 1 but we have a lot of foreign visitors and I don’t think they would buy tickets and book hotels and flights in these uncertain times, so there is no guarantee if we did go ahead we would sell tickets anyway.
“The bigger festivals are continuing to book bands but they have the financial might to do so if it goes pear shaped – we don’t.
“But we have had a lot of good support, hundreds of people have emailed to say it is the right thing to do and we are protecting DD8 Music and the people of Kirriemuir’s health.
“The last thing I want to do is have Kirriemuir locked down because someone brought coronavirus in.
“It is gutting.”