June 8, 2021 10.23 am This story is over 36 months old

No approval yet for Newark Steampunk festival

Local authorities in Newark have not received paperwork from organisers

By Local Democracy Reporter

Organisers of the Steampunk festival are still yet to receive approval for their free-to-the-public events, due to the ongoing fears of delays to the easing of COVID-19 restrictions.

The annual Steampunk event usually takes place in Lincoln, but organisers said they would be moving the festival to Newark this year after City of Lincoln Council couldn’t guarantee safety amid recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

It welcomes over 100,000 people to Lincoln each August, and the news of its loss for 2021 was a huge blow to the city.

| Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

The 2021 event is being advertised to take place on August bank holiday weekend. There are two events at the festival, one for ticket buyers at Kelham Hall, and another which is free to the public.

The public event is currently in jeopardy given the concerns that COVID-19 restrictions may not be eased in line with the government’s roadmap out of lockdown, though organisers are assuring people that all events at Kelham Hall will go ahead.

Newark and Sherwood District Council have said that the public element of the event can only happen if the local safety advisory group confirm it will be safe to run the festival.

| Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Councillor David Lloyd, Leader of Newark and Sherwood District Council said: “We are supportive of any event coming to Newark that will help with our social and economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“However, any event coming to Newark is subject to the Government’s roadmap going ahead as planned and events will also require approval from the Newark and Sherwood Safety Advisory Group (SAG).

| Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

“The SAG would review the event organisers safe systems of work arrangements, the event management plan and undertake a review of industry guidance in advance of any event taking place to determine whether it was safe or not to do so.

“Organisers of the Steampunk event are experienced in working with authorities and the SAG, and have held smaller events since the start of the pandemic.”

The council also confirmed that no plans have yet been submitted to the SAG, despite the advertising of the event going live.

| Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

“When submitted, the SAG will consider all of the information before making a decision on whether the event can proceed or not. Even if SAG approval is granted, which currently it is not for the Steampunk event, should the situation change nearer the time or the local or national guidance change, the decision would be reviewed.

“Visitors health and safety will always remain our top priority when events are being organised in Newark.”

| Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

The Lincolnite has tried multiple times to contact organisers of the Steampunk festival, but are yet to receive a reply.