The organisers of Kendal Mountain Festival have announced that this year’s event will now go online-only.
The festival, which runs mid-November and this year celebrates its 40th anniversary, had been planning a hybrid approach featuring both digital and physical socially-distanced events.
However, recent developments – in particular the national ‘rule of six’ limits – presented new, difficult decisions according to event director Clive Allen.
He said: “We all want Kendal Mountain Festival to excite and inspire in the same way that it has for forty years. But bringing people together on the ground this particular year, with constantly-shifting guidelines, was looking increasingly problematic.
“Could we run on-stage events in venues?
“Yes, of course, subject to guidelines.
“But audience numbers were drastically reduced, and planning one of the most popular aspects of the Festival, our Basecamp village, was proving extremely difficult even before the ‘rule of six’.
“Sadly, therefore, we have taken the decision to move Kendal Mountain Festival online-only.”
The organisers said they are well aware that the event is an important showcase for Kendal, bringing up to 20,000 people into the region in a normal year, so there are plans to emphasise this in the re-focused event.
He said: “We’ll be pouring all our effort and energy into creating an amazing experience; all the excitement and inspiration of our usual live events will be live-streamed from a purpose-built studio in the heart of the Lake District."
Kendal Town Councillor Alvin Finch said the council and public is 'disappointed' with the news.
He said: "Unfortunately because of the circumstances, that's how it has to be.
"Obviously as a town and council we're disappointed that it's not real this year particularly because of the money it brings into the town of Kendal which is significant.
"But we're optimistic that people will contribute in some way this year and look forward to welcome the festival back properly next year."