The IW Bus Museum and CAMRA have announced today that the Classic Buses, Beer and Walks Weekend, due to be held on October 10 and 11, has been cancelled. It would have been the seventh such event to be held on the Island and it has become a major tourism event on the Island.
Under normal circumstances the Beer and Buses weekend takes several months to plan and co-ordinate. Even if the current lockdown were to be lifted in May, there are numerous concerns about the viability of the event. This includes uncertainty around requirements for social distancing in the autumn, or if large public events will even be feasible. Last year’s event was the biggest yet, with some 18,000 visitors. Over 100 classic buses and coaches took part, along with 120 licensed venues.
Ben Bartram, the principal organiser for the IW Bus Museum, revealed that the decision was not an easy one to make. He said: “There are simply too many unknowns at present. Too many factors that make forecasting even a few months ahead difficult. There are logistical issues around vehicle preparation, both those from the IW Bus Museum and the large number of visiting vehicles. We also recognise that some vehicle owners may be suffering financial hardship because of the national lockdown.”
Another major factor is how long the current enforced closure of pubs and other licensed venues will last. Tim Marshall of CAMRA said; “We cannot assume that pubs, clubs, hotels and other accommodation providers will be open at that time. Naturally, we wish all of them every success in re-opening when it is possible to do so safely. CAMRA will be offering support wherever possible, so we hope that they will consider joining in with the event again in future. We certainly intend to be back next year.”