Stone Valley Festival South to go ahead ‘as planned’ in Hertfordshire

PUBLISHED: 21:20 12 March 2020 | UPDATED: 21:20 12 March 2020

Happy Mondays are due to headline Stone Valley Festival South 2020 in Hertfordshire. Picture: KEVIN RICHARDS

Happy Mondays are due to headline Stone Valley Festival South 2020 in Hertfordshire. Picture: KEVIN RICHARDS

©2018 Kevin Richards - all rights reserved

A music festival set for the Hertfordshire countryside in May has confirmed it will still go ahead, despite the coronavirus outbreak.

Shaun Ryder of Happy Mondays, who are scheduled to headline Stone Valley Festival South 2020 in Hertfordshire. Picture: KEVIN RICHARDSShaun Ryder of Happy Mondays, who are scheduled to headline Stone Valley Festival South 2020 in Hertfordshire. Picture: KEVIN RICHARDS

Stone Valley Festival South is due to return to Pepper Hill Farm, Great Amwell, Ware, over the weekend of Friday, May 22 to Sunday, May 24.

The SVF South 2020 event will be headlined by Bob Geldof's I Don't Like Mondays band The Boomtown Rats, and Shaun Ryder's Step On group Happy Mondays.

Promoters of the Mod, ska, indie, punk, soul and Northern Soul festival today (Thursday) confirmed the festival will still go ahead, despite the country moving into the 'delay' phase in the fight against coronavirus.

Organisers 'are firmly committed to ensuring that the festival takes place on its planned date' and will up-scale hygiene facilities on site.

Happy Mondays backstage at Knebworth's Cool Britannia Festival two years ago. Picture: KEVIN RICHARDSHappy Mondays backstage at Knebworth's Cool Britannia Festival two years ago. Picture: KEVIN RICHARDS

A statement posted on the Stone Valley Festival Facebook page said: 'The ongoing concern regarding COVID-19 and Coronavirus are, correctly, in everyone's minds at present.

'With this in mind, we have decided to explain our current approach and the consideration given to it.

'Since the early stages of the progression of the virus within the UK, we have been in regular contact with appropriate expert bodies and sought out all current professional advice to determine an appropriate, safe and considered response to ongoing concerns.

'At this time, and after due consideration of advice from the UK's Deputy Chief Medical Officer which stated that '[since] the virus will not survive very long outside, many outdoor events, particularly, are relatively safe', we have decided that the festival will proceed as planned, with suitable measures and steps undertaken to provide suitable assistance to our customers in maintaining suitable hygiene, sanitation and public health steps.'

Promoters will only postpone the event if Government advice dictates.

The SVF statement continued: 'There are 2 immediate concerns expressed by customers that we wish to address at this time and provide definite reassurance to our valued supporters:

'1) The festival will proceed as planned without cancellation and, in as far as is within our control on the original date, though it goes without saying that should Government and scientific advice change and the date were to become unsuitable for a public gathering, the festival will run with the shortest possible postponement.

'Postponement will only be if Government advice, contrary to its current position, is to suggest that it would be unsafe on its current date and [postponement] would then be for the shortest time possible before the festival takes place.

'2) In the event that any of our customers are unable to attend the festival due to self-isolation as a result of infection or possible infection, we will honour that same ticket to the next festival without any further costs or fees.

'We hope our customers appreciate that this is a major step not replicated by many other festivals and is indicative of our wish to stand by our customers through this time, as we hope they stand by us.'

Organisers say there will be 'a substantial up-scaling of hygiene facilities available at the festival including hand sanitising points and hand washing stations'.

There will also be 'a significant increase in the quantity of toilets, showers and other welfare facilities available'.

The Stone Valley Festival South 2020 line-up includes The Boomtown Rats and Hugh Cornwell on the Friday, headliners Happy Mondays, The Undertones and From The Jam on Saturday, May 23, and The Selecter, The Skids and The Farm on the Sunday.

For more on the festival, visit www.stonevalleyfestival.co.uk


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