THE PLUG has been pulled on Stratford Food Festival at the final hour.
A message was posted on Stratford Forum’s Facebook page on Tuesday (September 5) making the surprise announcement just weeks before Bake Off stars were set to headline the event.
The message from event organisers Cocker Hoop Creative, who have been working with Stratford BID on the event, reads: “I am sorry to inform you that we have taken the decision to postpone this year’s Stratford Food Festival.
“This has been an extremely tough decision to make and over the last few days we have been working with the chief executive of Stratford BID, our partners in the activity, in trying to find a workable solution to the issues we have raised, however this has not been fruitful.
“As a team we have been working really hard to deliver the event for the town, in a similar vein to our Lichfield Festivals and as such are truly upset by our decision.
“We will be back with the Stratford Food Festival 2024 bigger and better.
“We have tried everything to make this work this year and I can only apologise for the news.”
Stratford Food Festival was due to be held on the weekend of Saturday September 16 and Sunday September 17 and was to be a celebration of the town’s food and drink scene, alongside appearances from yet-to-be-named special guests from the Great British Bake Off tent.
Cocker Hoop Creative had been brought in for the first time to help elevate the event.
Aside from Cocker Hoop’s statement, no official explanation for the cancellation of the festival has been given.
Stratford BID has been approached for comment.
And this is not the first festival to fall by the wayside this year in Stratford.
Stratford BID announced earlier this year that they would not be running either the Stratford Festival of Motoring or Stratford River Festival in 2023.
Back in April they were also unsure whether Stratford Food Festival would go ahead in the autumn but until this week it appeared to be firmly on the town’s calendar.
Stratford BID explained at the time the decision to not proceed with the two events in the 2023 BID programme came against the backdrop of the cost of living crisis, calendar congestion and resource pressures, as well as comprehensive feedback from the BID membership and advice from industry professionals.