April 25, 2022 2.33 pm

Organisers ask if Woodhall Spa 1940s festival is “appropriate” amid Ukraine conflict

Volunteers for the festival have been abused online

Plans to potentially cancel the Woodhall Spa 1940s Festival have resulted in “unacceptable” abuse to organisers on social media, who have set up a survey asking people if it’s appropriate for the event to go ahead given the conflicts in Ukraine.

The event usually takes place every year, but it has not gone ahead since 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic halting proceedings in both 2020 and 2021, and now the 2022 event is up in the air as well.

This is a result of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, with organisers feeling it could be too insensitive to host a celebration of wartime events in this current climate.

| Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

It is something organisers of multiple events similar to the Woodhall Spa one have had to contend with, as the Lincolnshire Wolds Railway cancelled its 1940s wartime event last month due to the invasion in Eastern Europe.

Now, the Woodhall Spa festival planners are holding a survey asking the public if they deem it appropriate for the event to go ahead, via a survey which you can take part in by clicking here.

Classic cars and war memorabilia lines the streets of Woodhall Spa. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

It has been a highly divisive topic, and a spokesperson for Woodhall Spa 1940s Festival issued a statement on Monday after “an unacceptable level of abuse and aggressive messages across social media”.

It reads: “Thank you to all who have taken part in our survey so far. It will remain open until 5pm tomorrow (Tuesday, April 26).

“Sadly, over the weekend, our organising committee members have been subject to an unacceptable level of abuse and aggressive messages across social media.

“While we appreciate that thoughts and feelings about our event run high because it is so widely enjoyed and looked forward to, please remember that there are real people – all of whom are volunteers who give up hundreds of hours of their time every year – at the receiving end of all messages.”

| Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Facebook comments have been limited on the survey, which is just one question, asking if the event should go ahead in light of the invasion of Ukraine and ongoing conflicts with Russia.