By Nigel Slater 12/07 Updated: 16/07 16:45
THE ORGANISER of Evesham River Festival has said there is no chance of rearranging the event this year after it had to be cancelled at the last minute.
Heavy rain last Friday (July 6) saw river levels rise rapidly and the festival had to be cancelled for the first time in its 26 year history.
The call was made at 6am on Saturday morning after consultations between organiser Cathy Evans, the police and Wychavon District Council.
Levels of water at the River Avon were so high that the Avon Navigation Trust put it on red alert meaning no boaters could travel on it safely.
In addition, the huge amount of water on the surrounding footpaths also meant the thousands of visitors expected would not be able to walk around the river without potentially hurting themselves or slipping over.
Organiser Cathy Evans said she was devastated to have had to call it off especially after the committee had worked so hard to make it a success.
"We were hoping to go ahead right up until 11pm on Friday night but the rain was just too much, too fast and potentially very dangerous," she told the Observer. "The speed it has come has taken us by surprise.
"The meadow was being churned up sort of Glastonbury style and several people on the committee had already slipped over and we were afraid the public would not be safe. The decision was not taken lightly.
"We are very sad because we had so many things planned and special guests coming along. Our small committee worked incredibly hard but common sense had to prevail. We are all sad to have let people down but it's very scary at the moment."
Mrs Evans said it was not possible to postpone the event until later in the year and so the next Evesham River Festival will take place on the weekend of July 13 next year.
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