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CANCELLED: Sustainability Festival 2020

Start Date: 23rd May 2020
End Date: 7th Jun 2020
This was an All Day Event

Postponement of St Albans Sustainability Festival


The working group for the 2020 St Albans Sustainability Festival has decided to cancel the festival this year, including the flagship event, the Market Takeover.   The festival, dubbed SustFest20, had been due to take place from 23rd May to 7th June and had drawn in major sponsorship from Octopus Electric Vehicles and St Albans BID.


The festival is co-ordinated by the environmental charity Sustainable St Albans, in partnership with St. Albans Friends of the Earth group.


Amanda Yorwerth, chair of the festival working group and coordinator of St. Albans Friends of the Earth said,


‘In these unprecedented times with COVID-19, there are so many uncertainties; none of us knows what the situation will be regards movement of people, or gatherings, or the closure of cafes and shops - even in a few months’ time.  Sustainable St Albans and St Albans Friends of the Earth must prioritise the safety of people involved in our activities and events as well as the wellbeing of society as a whole.  We must also be responsible about how the money raised for the Sustainability Festival - through generous donations and sponsorship as well as from important grant funds - is spent and we have decided that we cannot risk continuing with a festival during 2020 that might end up being cancelled at the last minute.’


The festival was planned to take place across St Albans, Harpenden and the villages around the district. An unparalleled number of events had been registered, with activities organised on themes of sustainable living.  All events were to be put on by local community groups, schools and businesses. They included a walk to school week in London Colney and a talk by Jonathon Porritt, who used to head up the national organisation of Friends of the Earth.


Craig Scudder, member of the festival working group had been working hard to create the one-day Market Takeover event which was sponsored by St Albans Bid. He said:


‘We had stalls booked from over 100 businesses and local groups who will all be disappointed, but we aim to pick up when we can and organise the day for next summer.’


Around 100 local businesses and groups had booked a stall for the day which aimed to create an environmentally sustainable community market day including street closures for children’s street games and bike rides with electric car displays, live music on stage all day, vegan and vegetarian food.


Gail Jackson, vice-chair of the festival working group, and trustee of Sustainable St Albans said:


‘It is with great sadness that we have decided to postpone this year’s festival and look ahead towards planning for another festival next year. We would like to wholeheartedly thank our sponsors, grant funders and event organisers who had created the makings of an amazing Sustainability Festival with over 200 brilliant events.  We will be considering how to support our local community moving forward with online resources and information. Meanwhile we look forward to planning for 2021.’


Organisations and groups who would like support to promote any work they are doing around environmental sustainability in the district are encourage to get in touch with Sustainable St Albans and St.Albans Friends of the Earth, who will do their best to promote their activities through their websites and social media.

Further information can be found on the website