Although it will not have come as a great surprise, the cancellation of the 2021 Butlin's Mineworkers Festival that was due to be held at the end of January in Skegness will still be seen as further confirmation that a return to contesting in the UK remains very much on a distant horizon.
The statement issued by Butlins read: "With great reluctance and sadness, organisers of the Butlin's Open Mineworkers Open National Brass Band Festival announces that it has cancelled the 2021 January edition date due to the continuing uncertainty and recurring lockdowns caused by the pandemic."
However, it is understood that Festival's Artistic Director, Steve Walker, who has worked tirelessly over the past six months or more to try and host the event in January, is currently in talks with the company's management team to see if a later spring date is available next year with a view to running an event in a different format given further potential COVID-19 restrictions.
However, I'm still hoping that we will be able to offer something different from what the usual format looks like later in the year — and we'll keep people informed as soon as we can4BR
He stated: "I'm absolutely gutted and so is the whole team. We had hoped to be able to offer brass bands some hope after a year of not performing, and also a Covid-safe environment to meet socially.
However, I'm still hoping that we will be able to offer something different from what the usual format looks like later in the year — and we'll keep people informed as soon as we can."
He added: "At present my thanks go to everyone who has tried to put on the event as planned and we wish the banding movement a safe and happy Christmas."