Doonhame Festival 2021 cancelled

Doonhame Festival 2019
Doonhame Festival last took place in 2019 Credit: Doonhame Festival

Organisers of the Doonhame Festival say they've been forced to pull the plug on this year's event after changes to Scotland's COVID-19 'Level 0' restrictions announced earlier this week.

Directors say it is with "sadness and frustration" that they have had to cancel just a fortnight ahead of gates opening.

Ticket holders are being reassured that refunds will be available within 21 days, whilst there is also the option of rolling tickets over until 2022.

In a statement, Director Sandy Sweetman said, "Only 3 weeks ago, we welcomed the positive announcement about the relaxation of physical distancing rules. This, combined with support and encouragement received from Event Scotland and Dumfries & Galloway Council, gave us the confidence to keep planning ahead, but the revised legislation announced this week - demanding 1m physical distancing between attendees - makes it impossible to deliver the festival.

We have worked tirelessly behind the scenes to deliver all that has been asked of us by Local Authorities and Scottish Government to ensure a safe and enjoyable festival for you and your friends and family, but the latest changes that have been implemented cannot be overcome."

Kaiser Chiefs were due to headline the concert Credit: PA

The cancellation of the event will be seen as a major blow for the local economy, with staff already contracted for the event in the Crichton Grounds in Dumfries.

Meanwhile, many local hotels and B&B's had taken considerable numbers of bookings over the weekend from music fans travelling to the area to see the likes of Kaiser Chiefs and Skerryvore.

A statement posted on the festival website continues, "We have considered alternative solutions, but with time constraints, logistics and the safety of our customers, staff, performers, volunteers and the wider community in mind, we have ruled out all other alternatives.  We know that this is disappointing news for you all, but we would like to thank the artists, our sponsors, suppliers, staff, volunteers and everyone who bought tickets again this year, we are so grateful for your support. 

Dates for the 2022 festival have been announced, with the event moving to the 15th and 16th of July. Organisers say this avoids conflict with other festivals in Scotland and the North of England.