MOTOFEST, the annual motor racing event in Coventry, is the latest event to be cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
This year’s Motofest was expected to bring thousands of visitors to see races around the Coventry ring road.
But organisers say the pandemic has forced them to suspend the festival until 2021.
In a statement, James Noble, Festival Director, said: “Against the current backdrop of extraordinary events, the MotoFest Coventry board has been constantly evaluating the viability of this year’s festival.
“Following recent Government advice on mass gatherings and large-scale public events during the Coronavirus crisis, we have taken the sensible and appropriate decision to suspend MotoFest Coventry for this year.
“Please be assured, the weight of consideration, both practical and moral, has been substantial and we do not arrive at this decision lightly.
“MotoFest Coventry has grown substantially in recent years, with 2019’s attendance of 229,232 helping to firmly establish its place in the UK’s top ten most attended events.
“As a result, MotoFest Coventry makes a huge economic and cultural contribution to the city of Coventry, another factor that has made our decision a difficult one to reach.
“However, in the current climate the health and safety of those attending and those who work on and support a large-scale event such as MotoFest Coventry is paramount, so this is the responsible course of action to take.
“MotoFest Coventry 2020 was intended to be our largest event to date. An evening track programme, demonstrations of wheel to wheel motorsport, a new drift car arena, Concourse D’Elegance show and a new Festival of British Engineering, set to be among the highlights of the festival.
“We were also due to stage a hugely expanded music offering, which included a new dance music event featuring globally renowned DJs, artists and dance acts.
“These new elements and much more will return next year as part of our exciting line-up. We now intend to regroup and turn our attention to 2021 – Coventry UK City of Culture year – on 4, 5 and 6 June with an event bigger and better than ever before.”
Councillor Abdul Salam Khan, Deputy Leader of the City Council said: “We are obviously disappointed that Motofest, like so many other events, will not be able to go ahead this year, but in the current situation, we must all take the necessary action to ensure social distancing and prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“Motofest is a much-loved part of our city’s calendar and we are delighted to see that organisers are already planning to be back bigger and better than ever next year. We look forward to welcoming the thousands of motor fans who attend this great event.
“We would urge everyone to continue to follow the latest government advice and stay at home and obey social distancing guidelines, so we can all work together to save lives.”