Hello Everyone

Following a further review by the Great Dorset Steam Fair Board of Directors, it is with much regret and sadness that I confirm the 2021 Great Dorset Steam Fair (scheduled to take place from Thursday 26th to Bank Holiday Monday 30th August 2021) has been cancelled.

We have continued to closely monitor the Coronavirus pandemic over the past few weeks and whilst the ongoing vaccination programme is progressing well and should be commended, it has nevertheless become increasingly evident (as in 2020) that it is unfeasible to run the GDSF event again this year.

This has been a very difficult decision to make, however, as our pre-planning for the 2021 event has now reached a critical stage (with March being the key deadline for confirming major contractors), we have no other option than to make the decision now to not continue with the event this year and focus our efforts on the 2022 show.

Despite the Prime Minister’s Speech last night and the Government’s roadmap to ease Covid-19 Restrictions, the ongoing problem the GDSF Board of Directors face is that of uncertainty as to what statutory Covid restrictions will still be in place in August for large scale, high-capacity mass gatherings like the GDSF. The Prime Minister also stressed that he is being driven by data and not dates and therefore the timeline of the roadmap is not guaranteed.

Sadly, the risk is simply too great for us to run this year, it would be an enormous health & safety, operational and financial gamble which we cannot justify. Our priority therefore has to be to safeguard the viability of the event for future years and by not risking running in 2021, this will enable us to return in 2022.

Ultimately, the safety and wellbeing of our visitors, exhibitors, traders, staff and contractors is always our primary concern, combined with the effect to the local area, towns, parishes and residents. We are also very conscious of the impact that the event would have on the NHS, Emergency Services, Local Authority and Partner Agencies, and we do not want to unnecessarily stretch their resources any further this year.

We offer our sincere apologies to all involved and I can assure you that we at the GDSF are equally as disheartened and disappointed that for a second consecutive year there will be no show. However, not running the show again this year is the right and responsible thing to do on all counts.

I can reassure everyone that all our efforts will now turn to putting on a fabulous show in 2022, the dates of which are Thursday 25th August to Bank Holiday Monday 29th August. Tickets and camping bookings for 2022 will be on sale by Christmas this year. In the meantime, I can announce one bit of good news for 2021 – Steam Fair FM will once again be broadcasting nationwide online throughout the original 2021 show period (up to bank holiday Monday), with lots of news about the show, more archive recordings, big prize competitions ,and dedications for your friends and family. Last year’s broadcast was a great success, and we’ll be letting you know more about this in due course.

For those of you who previously booked advance tickets and camping for the (cancelled) 2020 event and have not hitherto requested refunds, these bookings will remain valid for the GDSF event in 2022, this will happen automatically. Alternatively, should you now prefer a refund for the 2020 show, please contact us at enquiries@gdsf.co.uk. quoting your Order Number and we will arrange this as soon as possible.

I would like to take this opportunity of personally thanking you all for your continued support of the GDSF during these very difficult times, we can assure you that it is very much appreciated.

Please continue to check our website and Facebook site for updates over the next few months as we begin to prepare for GDSF 2022.

Keep safe everyone and take care.

Kind regards

Martin Oliver, Managing Director, Great Dorset Steam Fair