Willow Festival is officially cancelled

Willow Festival 2014 at Embankment.  Socrade playing on the main stage. EMN-141207-194530009

Willow Festival 2014 at Embankment. Socrade playing on the main stage. EMN-141207-194530009

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The Willow Festival will not go ahead this year.

Despite claims a week ago that the popular music event had been saved and would run in Peterborough this summer, organiser Mark Ringer admitted that time has run out.

The last-ditch attempt to find a new home for the three-day event, scheduled in July, came after Peterborough City Council refused to let it take place on the Embankment after a dispute with Mr Ringer.

Ticket-holders can now get a refund online or save their pass for next year when the festival is due to return.

A Willow Festival statement read: “Our local council refused to allow us to use our traditional home on Peterborough Embankment about two months ago and since then we have been in a race against time to move our plans to a new festival site in Peterborough later in the year.

“We had four options available to us, and it appeared certain that we could save the event for 2016, but time has beaten us.

“We’ve been doing everything in our power to get the event secured, and despite having handshake deals in place to save it, completing contracts and some legal aspects of the fest has taken too long to resolve and we’ve run out of time this year to stage the event.

“Please accept our sincere apologies, we’re gutted and we know many of you will be too.”

The Willow Festival specialises in promoting local and unsigned bands.

Mr Ringer was in dispute with the council over a £4,500 hire fee to use the Embankment. The row then escalated with the council claiming it had saved the festival in previous years, a statement disputed by Mr Ringer.

The Met Lounge in Bridge Street is putting on an event at the same time the Willow Festival was due to take place.