This article was published on the 15th June 2021:
We are more than a little bit devastated to let you know that Deva Fest can’t go ahead this Summer
We have rescheduled the event for the same venue and the dates of Friday 12th to Sunday 14th August 2022.
Our number one priority is your safety when you are with us, and with the new variant doing the rounds and the numbers of cases starting to move the wrong way the public health bodies have decided we still need to stay apart for a little longer. This variant seems to be pretty strong in and around Chester at the moment, with some businesses having temporarily closed this week whilst staff isolate after positive tests.
Just before the Prime Minister’s announcement last night on social distancing and the delay to the Covid roadmap we learnt that the Cheshire West and Chester area, which is where Deva Fest takes place, was being put on a special measures programme to help tackle this rise in infections. As part of those measures people living here are being asked not to travel unnecessarily.
Social distancing was due to be scrapped on the 21st June, which would have given us plenty of time to put the finishing touches to Deva Fest with confidence. The new review date announced by the PM last night for the scrapping of social distancing (19th July) is now less than four weeks before the festival is due to take place, and of course, there is a chance that the timescales for the lifting of restrictions might get extended again.
Looking at the special measures programme for the region and add in the delay to the Covid roadmap and there is only one safe and sensible outcome.
Why not wait until the 19th of July to make a decision? Things could be better by then!
We have to commit to paying for everything on our festival site around 4-6 weeks in advance of the event, as well as paying all the artists the balance of the money they are due. As it stands we would have to make those payments before Government can confirm restrictions can be lifted. Our nightmare scenario is that we make all of those payments and then are told we can’t put the festival on. If we did that Deva Fest would not exist.
Add in that we need to sign off all the safety aspects of the event off with local authorities and agencies who don’t know what the rules are yet for August, and you can see that we are timed out with no clear path to staging the festival.
We believe attending a festival should be about fun, dancing and being close to friends – new and old. We can’t run the event socially distanced (we don’t have the space) and being honest we wouldn’t want to (Covid marshals everywhere telling you to keep 2 meters apart? No thanks).
We have hung on as long as we can, and things looked really good a month or so ago, but with two months left we wanted to make an informed decision as soon as we were able to so that we could be fair to you.
The decision is clear. We can’t bring you the event you love on our terms this summer.
We know you will be hugely disappointed by the postponement, but hopefully you will understand we had no choice and that we really didn’t want to.
What about 2022?
All artists have moved over to their respective days in 2022 and the themes will stay the same.
Old School Dance Anthems Day: Friday 13th August 2021 > Friday 12th August 2022
Pirate Day: Saturday 14th August 2021 > Saturday 13th August 2022
Festival Sunday: Sunday 15th August 2021 > Sunday 14th August 2022
Our Covid guarantee now kicks in and ticket holders were contacted with their options by email.
The event moves to the 12th to 14th August 2022 at the same venue and your tickets will automatically be valid for the corresponding day(s) next summer if you have kept hold of them.
We will not sell tickets for 2022 at the same price that you have paid for 2020 or 2021 tickets. They will be more expensive.
The event was 90% sold out when we had to postpone with only a couple of hundred tickets left for each day.
We have refunded all buyers who requested a refund.
Please remember that there is a team of humans behind this event who wanted to create something fun and memorable for our guests and our city. We started planning this event in October 2019.
Music festivals were among the first sector to be closed and will be the absolute last thing to be brought back.
We have had zero support from the Government and were turned down by the Culture Recovery Fund (most festivals were). Government was lobbied very hard by the Association of Independent Festivals (we are members) to help insure festivals like ours against this very outcome this summer, but they chose not to. We can only assume they are not fans of Zoot Serious & the Bellyful of Bop. Or fun.
So, it is nearly two years of working and planning for this event so far with zero income. We therefore ask for your courtesy at this time. This is pretty raw for us.
60% of festivals have had to cancel already this summer.
The Deva Fest team remain absolutely committed to coming back stronger from this huge set back. We will be bigger and better in 2022.
We had booked a full line up for our second stage in the fields and were about to announce who was playing in our comedy tent, Deva Laughs. Those bookings will all be transferred to 2022 and we will tell you about them soon.
Thank you for your understanding.
Managing Partner & Founder
15th June 2021