The much loved East Midlands Food and Drink Festival has been cancelled for 2020.
The event which takes place across a weekend in October was originally planned to go ahead despite the pandemic but this has since been changed following Prime Minister Boris Johnson's updated guidance on gatherings of six people.
In a statement on their website Melton Festivals said: "The PM is due to announce new guidelines regarding major events on October 1st which is on the eve of the Festival. Following the PM’s comments last week and the issue of increasing cases of Covid it is increasingly likely that mass gatherings or large scale events will not be permitted."
Stephen Hallam and celebrity chef Rachel Green during the 2019 Food Festival. Photo: NEMM.
The event normally attracts thousands of visitors and food producers from Leicestershire and beyond.
The statement continued: "Exhibitors are starting to buy in or produce goods for the Festival and will face significant losses if the event is then cancelled on October 1st, the day before they are due to arrive to set up for the festival. So far none of them have had to pay any stall fee nor have visitor tickets been on sale these waiting until the festival was guaranteed to go ahead."
"The cancellation at short notice of the Artisan Cheese Fair earlier this year left the Melton Mowbray Food Partnership with significant losses. The Food Festival will mean further losses but these will be far less than if the festival was cancelled at short notice in October.
We hope for better times for both exhibitors and those who have supported the Food Festival in the past."
Visitors sample locally produced spirits during the 2019 food festival. Photo: NEMM.