Ricochet News

2020 SPAR Kirkwood Wildsfees cancelled due to Coronavirus

Mar 17, 2020
2020 SPAR Kirkwood Wildsfees cancelled due to Coronavirus

Kirkwood - The directors and management of the SPAR Kirkwood Wildsfees have after careful consideration decided not to stage the 2020 event in June due to global CORONA-19 outbreak.

“Rest assured, we have already set the dates and plans in place for 2021, when the SPAR Kirkwood Wildsfees will be held between June 25 and June 27,” says festival director Jenni Honsbein.

“The decision was not taken lightly,” says Wildsfees board chairperson Paul Marais.

“Even though the planned event fell out of the ban on public gatherings announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa, it was decided that staging the 2020 Wildsfees would place too many people at risk, including the thousands of workers in the Sundays River Valley who will be picking what promises to be one of our best citrus crops ever,” says Wildsfees board chairperson Paul Marais.

“The decision has the support and understanding of our sponsors, most of which have committed to the 2021 festival,” he adds.

“As naming sponsor of the SPAR Kirkwood Wildsfees, we fully support the decision to cancel the 2020 edition of the festival,” says Alan Stapleton: Purchasing Manager: Non-Foods. Sponsorships and Events SPAR Eastern Cape.

“Despite the importance of the event to the Kirkwood community, the risk involved to all stakeholders, whether they be performers, stallholders, service providers or the festival-going public is just too high and we commend the management on their commitment to ensure a win-win scenario for all.

“Let us all stay positive under the current circumstances, knowing that this will pass, and the 2021 SPAR Kirkwood Festival will be even, bigger and better than ever,” he says.

According to Marais the community-owned festival has built up sufficient reserves to tide it through just such a challenge.

“We were able to do this because as a not-for-profit company our focus is on sustainability and the interests of the Sundays River community rather than making money,” he says.

Recognising that most of the artists who were booked for the festival will be facing a challenging year, the Wildsfees management will allow them to keep the deposits which have already been banked on condition that they sign a new contract for 2021.

Similarly, stallholders who have already paid their deposits will be given the option of having their deposit returned minus VAT, or for the Wildsfees to retain their place for 2021 at the same fee.

“This way everybody wins. We trust that the accommodation establishments in the Sundays River Valley and Addo area will also see the big picture and either return the deposits of the people who have already booked, or will transfer the dates to next year,” says Marais.

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