Maritime Festival cancelled amid 'uncertainty' over Covid restrictions

Great Yarmouth Maritime Festival 2018. Picture: James Bass Photography

Flashback: Great Yarmouth Maritime Festival in 2018. Picture: James Bass Photography - Credit: JAMES BASS PHOTOGRAPHY

Fans of all things maritime have been dealt a blow with the announcement that a town's annual festival dedicated to the sea has been cancelled for 2021.

Organisers of Great Yarmouth's longstanding Maritime Festival blamed "uncertainty" around Covid-19 restrictions and the festival's reliance on people from across the UK and Europe to stage the September event.

Lyndon Bevan, chair of organisers Visit Great Yarmouth, said: "It is with regret we have had to cancel the 2021 Great Yarmouth Maritime Festival.

Great Yarmouth Maritime Festival 2017. Sheringham Shantymen. Picture: James Bass Photography

Flashback: Great Yarmouth Maritime Festival in 2017. Sheringham Shantymen. Picture: James Bass Photography - Credit: JAMES BASS PHOTOGRAPHY

"Social distancing rules would make it incredibly challenging for visitors to enjoy it.

"We also rely on a number of exhibitors and participants from across the UK and Europe which would make the usual events programme very difficult due to travel restrictions."


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He said Visit Great Yarmouth was still supporting a number of local projects and was poised to unveil more of its plans to support events in the weeks ahead, some of which are subject to the reopening and unlocking of the country.

He added: "We are still planning to support other events in Great Yarmouth during the year subject to Government recommendations and in line with Covid regulations.

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"Visitors are very welcome to visit us and make lots of memories."

The popular Wheels Festival was also cancelled this week, although organisers say a series of smaller exhibitions and car meets will go ahead.

Fire on the Water Experience at Great Yarmouth Waterways

A promotional image ahead of the Fire on the Water Experience which is hoping to go ahead at the end of October 2021 if restrictions allow. - Credit: GYBC

Meanwhile Great Yarmouth Borough Council has confirmed it's Fire on the Water event with Out There Arts is hoping to go ahead at the end of October at the Venetian Waterways.

It is billed as "an outdoor occasion that will showcase dramatic outdoor fire sculptures, hypnotic water projections, and eye-catching art displays, allowing residents and visitors to see Great Yarmouth in a different light."

Carl Smith, leader of the council, said: “Fire on The Water is going to be a great opportunity for residents of all ages and abilities to get involved, from young children to local businesses.

“The council is really excited to have such a unique and innovative experience to look forward to.

"However, as the health of the public and performers is our top priority, plans for the festival are subject to government restrictions and guidelines."




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