Great Dorset Steam Fair cancels next year's event due to rising costs

  • Watch ITV News Meridian's coverage of this year's Great Dorset Steam Fair.

Organisers of the Great Dorset Steam Fair have announced the event will not be running next year due to rising costs.

In a statement, they said they will be taking a year's break before organising the next Great Dorset Steam Fair again over the August Bank Holiday weekend in 2024.

A statement by the event's board of directors says: "This has been an extremely difficult decision for us to make. Whilst the 2022 event has been a fantastic and resounding success as a spectacle, it has been mired by significant and spiralling increases in contractor and infrastructure costs and the costs associated with meeting the necessary regulatory and statutory compliance which are commensurate with operating such a large-scale event.

"In short, as a big show we have big costs, costs which have risen disproportionately this year and, crucially, are very difficult to forecast for next year in the current economic climate.

Thousands of steam enthusiasts descend on Tarrant Hinton near Blandford Forum for the Great Dorset Steam Fair.

"The event industry as a whole is still feeling the harsh financial repercussions of the COVID-19 Pandemic, which together with the aftermath of Brexit and the war in Ukraine, has seen significant increases in staff, contractor, fuel, transport, material and equipment hire prices. The likelihood is that event costs will continue to rise in 2023, compounded by the emergence of the cost of living crisis which will undoubtedly affect consumer confidence and spending in the event industry next year.

"Whilst we appreciate that this will come as a surprise to many, given the success of the 2022 event, as organisers of a large scale major event we are acutely aware of the financial unknowns moving into 2023 with further cost increases likely and our regular customers, exhibitors and traders also feeling the financial squeeze.

"With the ongoing economic situation, the rise in inflation and the cost of living crisis, the reality is that it would be financially challenging for us to run the event in 2023. It is not prudent or sensible to hold the show next year and in order to safeguard and preserve the future of the Great Dorset Steam Fair, we believe this to be the right decision to enable us to continue to run a high-quality event in 2024 and beyond.

"We would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your continued support, and we look forward to seeing you all again between the 22nd to 26th of August 2024. Tickets for the 2024 event will be on sale from the Autumn of 2023."