This year’s Party at the Palace in Linlithgow and Party at the Park in Perth have been cancelled due to ongoing coronavirus restrictions.
It is with huge disappointment and frustration that we have to announce the cancellation of both Party at The Palace in Linlithgow and Party at The Park in Perth. Both were 3 day events with an expected audience of around 18,000 at each. With a further 1,000 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. Advice given to local authorities was open to very different interpretations and while Perth and Kinross were supportive and encouraging the same cannot be said for West Lothian council who were given the exact same published guidance.
We were also disappointed that Scottish Government could not deliver an insurance policy for events. 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. Another year without events for the thousands of freelancers and staff in this industry is not sustainable. We are already seeing a drain of talent and culture to events and festivals down south.
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 when events with capacities of up to 200,000 (Goodwood Festival of Speed with 50,000 attendees for 4 days) have taken place south of the border. 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.