Organisers postpone food and drink festival due to rising virus cases in town

Rob and Tina from Winnies Bakery at eat:Burnham in 2019. Picture: Mark Atherton

Rob and Tina from Winnies Bakery at eat:Burnham in 2019. Picture: Mark Atherton - Credit: Archant

A popular food and drink festival has been postponed following an ‘alarming’ rise in Covid-19 cases in Burnham and Brean.

Dark Matters Brownies at eat:Burnham food festival in 2019. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Dark Matters Brownies at eat:Burnham food festival in 2019. Picture: MARK ATHERTON - Credit: Archant

Organisers have called-off eat:Burnham which was due to take place on Saturday.

A spokesman from eat:Burnham said: “We have had a scheduled call with the civil contingencies officer for Sedgemoor District Council and a representative of the director of public health for Somerset.

“We agreed that, with the infection rate rising alarmingly over the past few days in the Burnham area, the only way for us to contribute to the protection of public health is to cancel eat:Burnham.

“This is done with heavy hearts, but our producers and the public’s safety are our primary concerns.

Ellise's Farm Field Kitchen at eat:Burnham food festival in 2019. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Ellise's Farm Field Kitchen at eat:Burnham food festival in 2019. Picture: MARK ATHERTON - Credit: Archant


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“We looked at how we could adapt the market further but the consensus was that, in these conditions, the event is too popular to be able to maintain the covid-secure status we have worked so hard to achieve.”

Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic in Sedgemoor, district council environmental health teams and Somerset County Council Public Health have been working with event organisers including eat:Festivals, to ensure events in the region comply with Covid-19-secure standards established by central government, with the aim of reducing the risk of transmission of the virus.

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A representative of the director of public health for Somerset said: “Eat:Festivals has done everything we have asked of them, and more, to ensure that events go ahead with the minimum of risk.

“While our rates of Covid-19 infection in Somerset remain lower than the national picture, rates in Somerset are increasing.

The Glastonbury Cheese Company at eat:Burnham food festival in 2019. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

The Glastonbury Cheese Company at eat:Burnham food festival in 2019. Picture: MARK ATHERTON - Credit: Archant

“At the time of writing (Tuesday) the Somerset rate is 39 per 100,000 population. Rates for the Sedgemoor district are higher than this rate at 49.8/100,000, from the October 10-16.

“The Sedgemoor cases are concentrated in the Brean and Burnham area at the moment and subject to some focused work.

“Our rates will continue to rise and we must do everything we can to prevent the spread.“

The eat:Festivals team is meeting with Somerset County Council and relevant district council officers to review its planned Christmas festivals next week.

Louise Nutt selling her prize winning Scotch Eggs at eat:Burnham food festival in 2019. Picture: MA

Louise Nutt selling her prize winning Scotch Eggs at eat:Burnham food festival in 2019. Picture: MARK ATHERTON - Credit: Archant

People lining the streets at eat:Burnham food festival in 2019. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

People lining the streets at eat:Burnham food festival in 2019. Picture: MARK ATHERTON - Credit: Archant

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