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The Isle of Wight’s Safety Advisory Group, which includes representatives from the council and emergency services, says that it cannot support The Great Wonderfest event at this present time.

Despite almost every major event on the isle of Wight being cancelled for 2020, in light of the coronavirus pandemic, it was announced yesterday morning (Friday) that The Great Wonderfest at Duxmore Farm will go ahead on the August Bank Holiday weekend.

However, the Isle of Wight Council says that official support is unable to be given at this time due to the current government guidelines. The council also says that the Island should continue to ensure that measures are taken to prevent the spread of infection.

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Yesterday’s news that the festival will go ahead with 3m x 3m ‘pens’ has been met with mixed reaction. However, it has drawn support from Bob Seely MP and Councillor Wayne Whittle.

An Isle of Wight Council spokesperson has said:

“The authority has been working with all event organisers following the COVID-19 restrictions. The organisers of the Great Wonderfest recently submitted new proposals for their event in August.  In response the council advised that the Island’s Safety Advisory Group (SAG) would consider these plans prior to any formal licence being applied for, the SAG includes representatives from the Isle of Wight Council, NHS Trust, Police, Fire and other key services.

“The SAG met today (Friday 26 June 2020) and have subsequently advised the organisers that at present they are unable to support the event at the given current government guidelines in relation to mass gatherings and the restriction on live entertainment being performed in front of live audiences, along with the potential impact on key services whilst the current response to COVID-19 remains. Should the guidance and restrictions change then this decision can be revisited.

“The Isle of Wight Council recognises the important role that events play in the visitor economy of the Island.  However, whilst working with partners and businesses in the tourism and hospitality on the safe reopening of this sector from 4th July, it is always mindful that this needs to be carefully manged to ensure that we continue the work that has been done to protect the Island and safeguard the community and to ensure that we prevent the spread of infection.”

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A spokesperson for The Great Wonderfest has said:

“While we understand that current Government advice prevents the Island’s Safety Advisory Group (SAG) from issuing its full support at this time, the Great Wonderfest team are in regular contact with SAG, and remain confident that as lockdown continues to ease and restrictions change, they will be able to revise their position, as they have noted in their statement.

“As public spaces and attractions such as zoos and drive-ins begin to open up, we believe the public will quickly adapt to the social distancing measures that we will all need to adhere to. We feel that there is a real and growing need for this kind of properly structured and strictly managed entertainment offering and have devised a robust plan that works within current social distancing guidelines. Above all we trust our audience to keep themselves, and those around them, safe and to follow the advice and guidance they are given.”

The views/opinions expressed in these comments are solely those of the author and do not represent those of Island Echo. House rules on commenting must be followed at all times.
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Why isn’t being stopped ?


Second wave arriving.
Absolute madness.
These people are risking everyone’s health.
Back handers work miracles.
If these so called humans had lost someone close to them would cancel event?
Or is the money yet again more important than human lives?
Why doesn’t the authorities hear ‘grow a pair’ for saftey sake ban until virus is under control.
The mainlanders don’t care they can go home & leave the mess for us to clear up!
Also Islanders should understand this too!
Come one Council show us you are using our Council Tax for safety of us..


The iow council has had it pretty easy with sensible events organisers cancelling major events earlier in the year proving that common sense over monetary gains is what is important especially to us islanders.Now the council have a major opportunity to show everyone on this beautiful island that this wonderfest needs ,and should be cancelled immediately .I like many others believe money more than lives matters to this council ,and proof of that will become more clear to everyone if the council allows this event to go ahead.

Voice of reason

Second wave? There hasn’t even been a first on the island yet! Try not to regurgitate everything you read, the media have their reasons for keeping the paranoia going.


Ban it. Mostly those on tax credits with ill behaved children running riot who attend this low end wanna be Festival anyway.
The Islands playgrounds are open soon, and that is where such children should be with benches provided for the dope smoking parents.


Its all about money…pure and simple..MONEY as against human lives


How is this being allowed when from 4th July –
Gatherings of more than 30 people will be prohibited, apart from some limited circumstances to be set out in law.

mr justice

Ha ha second wave, wasn’t no second wave after the riots 3 weeks ago! You people really show how dumb you can really be.

Dave Miller

Totally agree with you on that one
Let people have fun


What a load of rubbish, people will not social distance at a festival. Who’s getting a fat payout for this to get it approved. Time to announce that it is cancelled. Islanders before cash for a change.

No Brainer

There are no valid reasons to justify this festival going ahead.
I hope that the artists involved will withdraw for the sake of public safety and if they do not then one has to question their priorities.
Even today there are some increases in Covid cases in Leicester , and some American and Chinese cities with threats of further lockdown measures. The Island has kept cases down. This Festival could undo all the good work.
It is not worth the risk.
Cancel NOW.


Surely if the council are no supplying the safety support it is illegal for it to go ahead part of the conditions for these events and as for social distancing have they seen the fuckin beaches

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