Covid scuppers Beer and Buses Weekend in 2021
The IW Bus Museum and IW CAMRA have announced that the Classic Buses, Beer and Walks Weekend, provisionally scheduled for mid-October, has had to be cancelled for the second year running. This popular event takes many months of detailed planning and there are still too many uncertainties. It is hoped that the event can return in 2022 as it contributes significantly to the Isle of Wight economy.
Ben Bartram, the principal organiser for the IW Bus Museum, said; “This is a carefully considered decision. We have been talking to key stakeholders in recent weeks, including the vehicle owners who provide the classic buses. The consensus is that we cannot risk significant outlay of both funds and voluntary organisers’ time, as we cannot be confident of being able to put the necessary infrastructure in place. The normal timescales for planning the event simply cannot be followed.
Everyone recognises and respects that the event relies on private vehicle owners to make it a success. Some highlighted that they have been facing financial difficulties during the past year, or that they have not had their vehicles on the road in 2020 and are uncertain when they would be returning their vehicle to the road in 2021. Understandably some vehicle owners also outlined concerns for their own health, due to being exposed to large passenger numbers whilst driving and conducting on vehicles during the event, even if vaccinations progress.
Tim Marshall of IW CAMRA said; “We realise that many will be disappointed with the decision. However, although we now know that restrictions will ease for pubs and other licensed venues soon, we have had to decide now”.
Both the IW Bus Museum and IW CAMRA are considering much smaller events later this year if circumstances allow. Any such developments will be announced through press and social media outlets.