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Two Scottish summer festivals have been cancelled as event chiefs were forced to pull the plug as Scotland remains tight in the grip of Covid-19.
Organisers of Party at the Palace in Linlithgow, West Lothian and Perth’s Party in the Park feel ‘let down’ by the Scottish Government and warn of a ‘bleak future’ for music festivals.
Manic Street Preachers and Del Amitri were on the bill for the three-day Party at the Palace in August, Edinburgh Live reports.
Meanwhile The Kaiser Chiefs and The Charlatans featured on Party in the Park’s line up.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon recently announced that, as of Monday, all of Scotland would move into level zero of coronavirus restrictions.
This would allow outdoor events to go ahead with crowds of no more that 2,000.
Festival chiefs slammed the decision and warned of a ‘talent drain’ from north of the border as acts move to English events where restrictions are to be totally lifted by July 19.
In a statement, they blasted “conflicting advice” over the event and sister festival ‘Party at the Park’ in Perth.
They cited the Goodwood Festival of Speed in Sussex among a host of test events which had taken place in front of large crowds while Scottish festivals remain “lagging behind”.
It added: “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.
“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.
“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.
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“We are already seeing a drain of talent and culture to events and festivals down south.”
The statement continued: “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.
“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.
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“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.”
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This content was originally published here.