A message from the organiser of the Hereford Food Festival:

A personal note from Hereford Food Festival Director – Sophie Sherief

I am devastated to announce that I have had no choice but to cancel The Hereford Food Festival for 2021.

This was not something I wanted to do and was not an easy decision to make. Those very few people close to me know the work that goes into The Hereford Food Festival and with no guarantee until post July 19th that we can go ahead and in times of still such uncertainty – I have made the decision to cancel this years event.

I am unable to take the risk of continuing planning and making payments for the festival to run, and then either being unable to hold the event entirely, or running it with masses of restrictions still in place. The event is not the same if you cannot order drinks, the event will not be the same if you cannot dance to our bands, and the event will not be the same if I have to time people in and out of the event and monitor how long you stay with us for. The kids area would not work with any restrictions in place, and neither would the ability to supply all my food vendors with sinks and water to continue to wash hands and keep themselves safe throughout.

Any push back on the 21st June date, we knew would affect us, and up until this week, I had thought we could still go ahead, but to have any restrictions at all, it would not be the HFF over 30,000 people over 3 years have come to know and love.

It is thought, and we seriously all hope, that all restrictions will lift by 19th July, but I cannot take the risk of only 6 weeks to plan Herefordshires biggest event which usually welcomes over 10,000 people. I would risk bankruptcy, and with my children at the front of my mind, I cannot take this risk.

It’s important for me to reiterate here that I am a one man band. With the help and support of my family, and friends only, we are not a huge business with multiple pots of money for situations like this to cover us “incase” we had to cancel a day or week before. It’s just me and I truly hope you can see my reasoning behind the cancellation.

I would like to send my sincere thank you, and apologies to all the incredible food and drink suppliers who have booked to join us for 2020 and now 2021. You have all received an email from us with your options on refunded pitch fees, or transfers to 2022.

There will inevitably be financial implications as a result of this cancellation – not just for us, but also Hereford Racecourse who have been nothing but a huge support while I make this decision, Cotswold BMW Hereford, Accasion Marquees Ltd, Sunshine Radio, Hampton Hire, CB Protection LTD and Kenton Hughes Ltd – Generator hire and sales who have been with us since day one and support has been unquestionable, charity partners, suppliers, and vendors , and so I would like to publicly thank them for “having my back” in the last week while announcements have been made.

Our 4th year had a line up of amazing artists on our Main Stage and Community Stage as well as new additional zones for the event, and more kids entertainment, as well as of course the most incredible selection of food and drink producers who were ready and waiting to be there for you and I am truly devastated to have to cancel.

We will be back bigger and better than ever in 2022 with June 4th and June 5th 2022 already in the diary – so SAVE THE DATE. (And its a mega long Bank Holiday weekend so we have some surprises lined up for you as well….!)

It’s been the most challenging year for small businesses, and while the Euros, Ascot and Wembley seem to be running their own agenda, it’s not possible for the small businesses with the hoops being given to us.

I know I am not alone when I say how much I am looking forward to seeing so many of you queuing for the bar, dancing to our incredible line up, eating too much street food, and only having the weather to worry about next year.

It’s broken my heart to write this and “admit defeat” (again) but I unfortunately, like many others this year STILL, I have had no choice.

See you in 2022 Hereford – Sophie 💔 xx