Blackpool’s annual summer air show has been cancelled for the second year running due to the pandemic.
The free event, which attracts up to 100,000 visitors, was due to be staged on the Tower Festival Headland on the seafront over the weekend of August 7 and 8.
Event organisers VisitBlackpool say that despite the gradual easing of lockdown measures and the progress made on vaccinations, there is still too much uncertainty relating to the staging of mass events during the summer months.
The latest Government roadmap guidance states that June 21 is the earliest date that social distancing restrictions might be lifted, but that is dependent on a number of factors and there is no clear picture on how free-to-access outdoor events can benefit from proposed mitigation measures such as testing or any form of certification to reduce the risk of infection.
Cllr Gillian Campbell, Cabinet Member for Tourism & Culture for Blackpool Council, said: “This has been an extremely difficult decision to make, but throughout this pandemic our primary focus has been on protecting residents and visitors. As we move out of lockdown that focus will not change.
“Whilst we have an urgent desire to get our economy back on its feet as quickly as possible, we are committed to reopening tourism in a way that is both safe and enjoyable for our visitors.
“As it stands, there is no ready-made solution for managing large-scale outdoor events such as the Air Show and so it makes it impossible to plan ahead. We know that many other event organisers have faced a similar dilemma.
“But rest assured the Blackpool Air Show will be back and we have already made provisional arrangements for the 2022 event to be staged over the weekend of August 6 and 7. In the meantime, we will work closely with resort partners over the coming weeks and months to ensure that our resort emerges from this crisis with a strong and vibrant tourism offer.”
Other events in the VisitBlackpool programme for this year will continue to be reviewed over the coming weeks in line with Government guidance.