Doune The Rabbit Hole has become the latest festival to be cancelled following uncertainty over Covid distancing restrictions.
The Stirlingshire event, which had Dizzee Rascal, Sleaford Mods, Camera Obscura, and Teenage Fanclub among its headliners, was due to take place from 12-15th August, but organisers have decided to postpone the festival, for a second time, until next year.
Taking place at Cardross Estate near the lake of Menteith, Doune is one of Scotland’s longest-established music festivals – it should have been celebrating its 11th birthday – and also one of the biggest, with a planned 10,000 attendees per day.
However, organisers were largely reliant on physical distancing rules being relaxed in time for opening the gates, and with licensing information not being expected from Stirling Council until August 9th, it was felt that his would not have given enough time for the festival site to be constructed.
An official announcement from Doune The Rabbit Hole said: “We’re heartbroken to announce the postponement of Doune The Rabbit Hole 2021 due to continued uncertainty over the regulations for events that will be in place in Scotland by 12 August.
“We realise that this will be enormously disappointing to a great many people, principally our audience, but also the musicians and artists, traders, volunteers, the hundreds of people who we employ at the festival itself, and the businesses and residents local to the festival who will be missing out for yet another year.
“The decision has been taken after every possible effort to put the festival on. This included a meeting on 20 July with Kate Forbes MSP, Scotland’s finance secretary, who has been most helpful. Since then, her officials from the Scottish Government’s Major events team, have been working with us and Stirling Council to try to save this year’s festival.
“However, while we firmly believe we could hold the festival safely, the areas of uncertainty over this summer’s public health regulation in Scotland remain too great.
“Our festival is licensed by Stirling Council, who have taken the view that they cannot grant the licence until they know what Covid regulations are in place from 9 August.”
The statement said the festival faced the prospect of having to meet “impossible” conditions just days before the event was due to start.
It added: “There is therefore no practical alternative but to cancel now, rather than potentially have to cancel on 9 August after we would have physically built the entire festival and you would be almost packed and ready to pitch your tents.”
Doune the Rabbit Hole joins Doonhame, in Dumfries and Galloway, Party at the Palace in Linlithgow, Party at the Park in Perth, and The Return of the Slam Tent V as the latest event casualties.
Organisers have asked that ticketholders consider rolling forward their passes until 2022. More details at www.dounetherabbithole.co.uk.