Nottingham’s Goose Fair cancelled for second year in a row due to COVID-19

Nottingham’s Goose Fair has been cancelled for the second year running due to coronavirus concerns, according to Nottingham City Council.

The fair, which was also cancelled last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, was supposed to take place from October 6 to October 10 at the Forest Recreation Ground.

The Goose Fair usually attracts half a million people over the course of the event from all across the country.

On August 20, Councillor David Mellon announced that the fair would be cancelled for 2021.

He said: “The cancellation of Goose Fair for a second year running during the COVID pandemic has been a very difficult decision to make.

“The event is enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of people of all ages every year and is an important part of Nottingham’s cultural calendar.”

While other large events such as football matches and music festivals have been allowed to go ahead since restrictions were fully lifted on July 19, the safety of the attendees was not the only concern regarding the fair.

Discussions were held between Nottingham City Council and the Nottingham Showmen’s Guild for several months to try to enable the event to go ahead.

The measures suggested by the City Council, such as fencing and an entry fee were slammed by the Nottingham Showmen’s Guild.

Earlier in the year, Nottingham Showman Guild Chairman William Percival said that he expected the fair to go ahead.

He said: “At the moment the plan is that it’s going ahead.

“Things are going to be put in place.”

Nottingham’s Goose Fair has only been cancelled ten times in its 700 years history (Credit: Eric Görlitzer)

Luke Williams, 20, a third-year NTU Politics and International Relations student, thinks that COVID-19 is not a valid reason for the cancellation of the fair and that the sad news is down to logistical issues.

Luke said: “I think charging for entry is a bad idea, purely because it is a historic event that has always been free to visit.

“A booking system with timed tickets could work but I think it takes away from what the event is meant to be.”

When asked if he had been to the fair previously, Luke explained that when he went there two years ago he enjoyed the food and had a great time.

He added: “It is obviously a good money maker for the council and the fair owners too, so that will be a miss for them”.

James Gornall, 20, a third-year NTU Politics and International Relations Student explained that he did not agree with the decision either.

James said: “I think that it’s outside and precautions could’ve been put in place to ensure the safety of visitors.

“Businesses have suffered enough over the last year and should be given the opportunity to finally start making money again.”

When asked if limiting the number of people would be a good idea, the student said: “You can have thousands of people in close proximity in nightclubs, football matches, and concerts, so why should they have to limit numbers?

“Proof of a negative lateral flow test or vaccine passports could have been required.”

Nottingham’s Goose Fair, which dates back more than 700 years, has only been cancelled 10 times in its history, including for the world wars and the plague.

Lead image: Lee Haywood

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