A CHARITY music festival set up to honour a young man’s memory has admitted defeat in its bid to hold the three-day event over this year’s August Bank Holiday weekend.
Olliefest had been due to take place from Friday, August 28, to Sunday, August 30, at Ross RFC’s Greytree ground, with organisers still aiming to go ahead last month.
But they have now pulled the plug, saying the continued risk of transmitting Coronavirus had given them no alternative in view of the large crowd that attends the annual event.
A statement said: “The organisers of Olliefest have been working tirelessly in the hope that we would be able to bring you joy at Olliefest 2020 in the wake of the pandemic.
“Unfortunately, with the risk of the virus transmission still quite high, no more restrictions being lifted and the great numbers that attend Olliefest, we are unable to bring you this event safely.
“We understand a lot of people will be disappointed, as are we, but everyone’s safety is paramount to us, and we would not want to risk a local spike in cases.
“We will be back without a doubt in 2021 and tickets are available from the website now.
“All acts so far have also transferred their booking to next year and we have a few more exciting announcements in the pipeline.”
All tickets that purchased for OllieFest 2020 have automatically been transferred to OllieFest 2021, but you can also request a refund or donate your ticket to the running of the event.
The spokesperson said: “We are opening the response date until August 31. If we have not received a reply by this date, your ticket will just roll over and be valid for next year’s OllieFest.
“Again, we are so sorry that we are unable to run OllieFest 2020, matters were completely taken out of our hands due to Covid-19, which meant that it was impossible.
“We hope very much to see you all at OllieFest 2021.”
OllieFest was first held at Ross RFC in 2015 following the tragic death of 20-year-old Ollie Floyd in a working accident at the Celtic Manor golf course that March.
He was a popular member of Ross RFC, with “a real zest for life”, and in tribute friends and relatives put together a free community event featuring live music and a friendly rugby match at Ollie’s favourite place.
The first event was a spur of the moment response to acknowledge the grief of losing such a well loved friend and to lift the community’s spirits and celebrate his life.
Now costing around £30,000 to stage, the not-for-profit event has grown massively over the last five years and offers a wide variety of musical entertainment as well as a fun fair, inflatables and food and drink outlets.
Forest chart toppers EMF withdrew from this year’s bill last month, but have promised to return next year, according to organisers.
Acts lined up who will also appear next year include Chasing Mumford and Sons, Country Superstars, Dr Meaker, The Black Charade, Kings Ov Leon and The Brothers of Blues.