Organisers forced to cancel Linlithgow's Party at the Palace with three weeks to go
This year’s Party at the Palace in Linlithgow has been cancelled just three weeks before the event.
Organisers have announced that the 2021 festival, which had been scheduled to run from Friday, August 6 to Sunday, August 8, will no longer go ahead.
The announcement follows the latest news on Covid-19 restrictions easing by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon on Tuesday, which revealed social distancing is still required outdoors and events remain limited in size for now.
No further changes to the restrictions are anticipated before Monday, August 9.
Up until Tuesday’s announcement those behind the popular music festival, which takes place to the north of Linlithgow Loch, had hoped this year’s event would still go ahead.
However in a statement, the organisers expressed their “huge disappointment and frustration” at having to announce the cancellation of Party at the Palace and their other event, Party at the Park in Perth.
It said: “Both were three day events with an expected audience of around 18,000 at each.
"With a further 1000 staff, crew and artists at each also.
"Unfortunately we were left with absolutely no alternative and we feel particularly let down by a lack of communication and guidance from Scottish Government
"There seemed to be no understanding that our events take months to plan.
"Relying on three weekly updates, conflicting advice and unclear guidance made it impossible to give assurances to our customers, artists, staff and traders.”
They said advice given to local authorities was “open to very different interpretations” and they expressed disappointment that the Scottish Government could not deliver an insurance policy for events, adding: “Although we recognise that this is a reserved matter and the responsibility of the UK Government, we felt that if there had been a real willingness to get events in Scotland back on, more could have been done.
“Sadly, Scotland is lagging behind our counterparts in other areas of the UK and we genuinely fear we won’t be the last festival to cancel this year.”
Organisers have also expressed concern for the future of the events industry as a whole.
The statement continued: “Another year without events for the thousands of freelancers and staff in this industry is not sustainable.
"We had been told six months ago by Scottish Government that they could not envisage a scenario where events are allowed to take place in England but not in Scotland. This is clearly not the reality.
“It was the pilot and test events in England that formed the basis of our detailed and robust coronavirus plans which nobody in authority even asked to see or discuss.
“We are raising these issues in the hope that it is not too late for the other festivals and events that are still due to take place this year.
"Without intervention by Scottish Government to ensure that events have insurance and that local authorities have clear guidance then music festivals face a very bleak future.”
The festival had been due to feature big names including Manic Street Preachers, Del Amitri, The Snuts, Hue and Cry and Sophie Ellis-Bextor.
A night of comedy had been added on the Friday with Dara O’Briain, Rich Hall and Seann Walsh on the bill.
Organisers advised customers who have already purchased tickets to visit www.partyatthepalace.co.uk for information.