Cancellation of the 2020 Newton Stewart Walking Festival
What has happened?
We have taken the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 Newton Stewart Walking Festival, which was due to run from 8th to 14th May.
Why have you made this decision?
This is due to the huge uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak.
Our first priority is the protection and safety of our participants, our volunteer guides and organisers and the wider community. We are delighted to welcome a large number of people into Newton Stewart during the festival to enjoy our festival. However, in the current and predicted circumstances this movement and congregation of people is something which should be avoided so as to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.
Secondly, we need to protect ourselves as an organisation. If we go ahead with the event and either have large case cancellations (we pride ourselves on offering a full, no quibble, refund right up to 24th April 2020), or the latest government advice indicates that we must cancel the festival at the last minute, then we could make unsustainable losses on the event.
Will I get my money back?
Yes – you will receive back 100% of the money you have paid us. We are currently arranging to issue you a full refund for all the walks and evening events booked.
If you paid online, either via Paypal, or using your debit or credit card, you will receive the funds back into that same account or card in the next few days. To speed up this process, we will rely on the automated e-mail which is generated detailing what the refund is for, rather than issuing everyone with a personalised message. Please do not hesitate to get in contact with us if you believe the refund you receive is not correct.
If you paid by cheque, then we will be posting refund cheques out to you in the next few days. Please allow at least a week for these to arrive. If we have not yet cashed your cheque, then we will return your own uncashed cheque to you.
But I have booked accommodation and/or taken time off work to attend
We are extremely sorry if you are inconvenienced by this decision. While we will make a full refund of any money paid to us, we unfortunately cannot help you to cover any other costs you may have incurred.
Why have you made the decision so early?
The current government predictions are that the peak of the impact of the virus could be in 2 to 3 months’ time. This is likely to mean that at the time of the festival, the level of infection will be much more widespread than it is now.
By making the decision now, we have been able to avoid further costs of organising the event, and we hope you are able to recover more of the costs you have incurred or make other arrangements for time off work.
Our own suppliers and funders have been wonderfully understanding over this decision and we hope you will support then in whatever way you can during what will undoubtedly be a difficult time for our community and our population.
As the event is outdoors, surely the risk of spreading the virus is low?
Although the walks themselves are obviously out of doors, our participants, guides and drivers will be in close proximity during our minibus and coach transfers, as well as at our registration points and during evening events.
Is it possible that this will be the last ever Newton Stewart Walking Festival?
Absolutely not - Our early bookings for this year have been hugely encouraging. However, by cancelling this year’s festival now, we will be able to absorb the losses we will make on this year’s event, and we will be in a stronger financial position to enable the Newton Stewart Walking Festival to go ahead in 2021.
Can’t you just roll my booking over to next year?
We feel it is much fairer to our participants, and is much more straight forward administratively, if we provide you all with a full refund now and you can choose to book whatever you wish next year.
What are the dates for the 2021 Newton Stewart Walking Festival?
Next year’s festival is planned to take place from Friday 7th to Thursday 13th May 2021.
What if I have any questions?
Please do not hesitate to email us via our website, or call us on 07421 312 056.