THIS year’s Melksham Food and River Festival in September has been cancelled.

The festival’s steering committee today announced the two-day event on September 5 and 6 is now off.

They said that after much deliberation the festival committee has decided that the uncertainty surrounding the Coronavirus pandemic prevents Melksham Food and River Festival from going ahead as planned this year.

Committee Chair, Adrienne Westbrook, said: “We are disappointed to announce that this year’s festival will not be able to take place.

“We have worked very hard to comply with government regulations to enable the festival to proceed.

“We are tremendously grateful for all the advice, guidance and support that we have received from Wiltshire Council about the new government licensing regulations for the sale of food and drink; the anti-virus hygiene requirement; and

the need to obtain attendee contact details for ‘track-and-trace’ purposes if needed.

“We had hoped for some relaxation of the pandemic social gathering regulations but in the continuing absence of firm government news about community events and continuing public nervousness about attending such large scale gatherings, we sadly now feel we have no other option but to cancel the festival this year.

“We have already earmarked the weekend of September 4 and 5 2021 for next year’s festival.

“If anyone is interesting in joining our team, please contact us on

“In the meantime, we wish that you all stay safe and we will see you again next year.”

The festival is now a well established and respected annual event in west Wiltshire.

About 6,000 people and 80 stallholders attend the festival each year to enjoy activities on the River Avon and a wide range of food in the King George V playing fields.

With more events appearing on both festival days this year, the organisers were hoping for a continued increase in visitor numbers and publicity.

Sadly, the festival has fallen victim to the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic, with many people still reluctant to venture outdoors for fear of contracting the virus.

Other Melksham events have also been cancelled, including the town’s annual carnival and the Melksham Party in the Park.