THE largest dedicated rock and new music event in Oxfordshire has been called off because of fears Covid restrictions will again be extended.

Truck festival was set to attract more than 18,000 people to Hill Farm, Steventon, near Didcot, for the weekend July 22-25. it was to be headlined by indie and rock acts Bombay Bicycle Club, The Kooks and Royal Blood. Also due to play were Arlo Parks and Everything Everything.

However, organisers have today pulled the plug, insisting it would be "too risky".

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In a statement to ticket holders, they said: "We are absolutely devastated to confirm that Truck Festival will not be able to take place again this year.

"We’ve explored every possible avenue to make Truck happen this year. However, with the delay to the roadmap and without the necessary assurances and guidance from the Government, it’s become too risky for us to put the event on and deliver it to the high standard that you know, love and greatly deserve.

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"It’s the news that many expected but few wanted."

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The event will be postponed – for the second year running. The rescheduled festival will take place at the same place from July 22-24, next year.

The organisers added: "We are all craving those three days in a field, with great music surrounded by friends old and new.

"Two years has been a long time to wait, but we can wholeheartedly promise to deliver a 25th birthday party Hill Farm has never seen before, with a line up to match."

They added: "The good news is we’re happy to confirm that tickets, upgrades and glamping for this year’s festival will automatically be rolled over to 2022. So next year’s festival is secured and no further action is required!

"If unfortunately you’re not able to join us in 2022, you’ll be able to claim a face value refund on all tickets, upgrades and glamping packages. We’re working closely with our ticketing partners and they will be in touch with instructions on the next steps within seven days.

"Thank you again for your continued support, it really does help the festival keep going year after year and Truck would be absolutely nothing without you guys

"Rest assured we eagerly await the opportunity to safely produce what will certainly be the most memorable Truck in our 25-year history. We miss you all enormously, and cannot wait to reunite in the fields to create a party we’ll never forget. For now, keep safe, keep healthy and look after each other."

Truck now joins Cornbury, Charlbury Riverside and Wychwood festivals, and the Cowley Road Carnival, in cancelling their events. Nationally, Glastonbury, which would have taken place in Pilton, Somerset, this week has been the biggest casualty of this year's wave of cancellations.

Still planning to go ahead are: Wilderness, near Charlbury from August 5-8; Fairport's Cropredy Convention, near Banbury from August 12-14; The Big Feastival at Kingham near Chipping Norton from August 27-29.

Reading Festival and its sister event in Leeds are also planning to proceed from August 27- 29.

Boom Town, due to have been held near Winchester in August, has been scrapped, while the organisers of the Womad (World of Music and Dance) festival due to be held near Malmesbury, Wiltshire, from July 22-25, are playing things cautiously.

They told festival-goers: "With the announced four-week delay in the lifting of restrictions, we are not able to confirm Womad 2021 without understanding the realistic level of Government support in the event of a forced Covid cancellation and the basis on which large scale events are going to be allowed to proceed.

"At this time, we need to look further into the details as they come out and talk some more to our suppliers and artists to understand what we can do and how much further we can travel down this road.

"Despite this frustrating delay, the confidence expressed by ministers that restrictions will be lifted in the days before Womad is due to go ahead has given some optimism and we are trying to establish what, if any, Government backed financial underwrite will be available to enable Womad to extend and manage its already considerable risk.

"Of course, our priority is to be able to present a safe event and to minimise any risks to our festival family and we will work tirelessly to achieve this goal."

The cancellation will be a big blow to Oxfordshire charities, who benefit from funds generated at the event. The previous event saw over £100,000 raised for a dozen good causes.

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Recipients included Steventon Church and Preschool, the Footsteps Foundation in Dorchester, the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust, African school charity Hatua, Oxford children's hospice Helen & Douglas House, Oxford Hospitals Charity, Oxford mental health charity Restore, and Severn Hospice.

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The Royal British Legion and Newbury Riding for the Disabled also gained support, as did the Steventon Darby and Joan Club, a social group for older villagers. Truck also made a substantial contribution to the Steventon Church Bell Fund Appeal.

Organiser Conor Burns said: "Supporting charities has always been at the centre of Truck since the beginning. To raise over £100,000 is amazing. Truck is one of a kind."

Details on refunds from