Understandably a lot campers and traders have been asking how we’re managing to run what is nowadays called a “Covid-Secure Event”, a term unheard of 18 months ago! The answer is relatively simple. Yes, to be “Covid-Compliant” (another new term) we are adhering to guidelines set out in the government’s ‘Roadmap To Recovery’ as the lockdown restrictions are slowly eased, but as organisers with a duty of care we are going above and beyond what is currently required by law.
In addition to camping pitches set 6m apart (something we’ve done for years anyway as a fire precaution, now it’s also Covid prevention), trade stands minimum of 2m apart (not actually a requirement but we feel this is a sensible precaution), wider walkways, at every pinch point hand sanitiser stations throughout the venue, covered seating outside the beer tent/acoustic marquee (similar to pubs when they open back up again on 17th May) … PLUS, ALTHOUGH NOT REQUIRED BY LAW … we will also be electronically checking the temperatures of all attendees entering the venue, no indoor trade stands in the grandstands complex (although officially we are allowed up to 1,000 people indoors), running the popular programme of seminars outdoors (again this helps prevent the risk of contaminated surfaces spreading the virus), security and medical cover has been doubled (even to the extent of canine patrols at the dead of night and an indepndent private paramedic and nurse on call 24/7), we’ve hired in a Safety Officer that has experience of large scale outdoor events such as Reading Music Festival and indoor events at the ExCel Exhibition Centre in London where the rules & regs are even stricter, and over the course of the entire weekend, importantly & reassuringly, toilets and showers to be sanitised regularly via a full spray deep clean. In a nutshell we are doing everything in our power to keep our staff and visitors safe and secure as possible.
The rules are clear – up to 4,000 visitors per day at approved outdoor events will be allowed after 17th May 2021, gatherings of people within the venue to be no more than 30, local authorities have to sanction the event within their specific remits (for the record, last September full approval was granted by the ever so helpful Stratford-upon-Avon District Council for our ‘Late Summer’ show when the vast majority of events had already been cancelled – frustratingly it was only the government’s ‘Rule of Six’ announcement that prevented the show from going ahead with less than a fortnight to go), all Health & Safety criteria to be met (now stricter than at any time in the 20+ years I have been running events), and of course organisers must adhere to the government’s overall policy outlining leisure activities. This and way more is what we’ve always done, we will continue to do so.
A lengthy explanation perhaps, but reassurance is paramount if confidence is to return. This pandemic has brought home the fact that we as humans are vulnerable creatures, the smallest of organisms can strike us down without warning. Risk is all around us, but it’s in our nature to explore the great outdoors, the alternative is to remain indoors and never venture out … ever! It’s how we mitigate those risks that will see us through, hence our commitment as organisers to do everything possible to keep our visitors safe and secure as possible. This has always been our aim, pandemic or no pandemic!
(Event Director of the joint Adventure Overland Show” + “International Campervan Show”, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire CV37 9SF weekend of 5-6 June 2021)