The Vintage and Retro Festival of the Lake District
Retro Rendezvous 2021
Based in the brilliant old market town of Ulverston, Retro Rendezvous is a full weekend of fabulous retro fun. Music, food, dance, cinema, clothes, markets, cars, motorcycles, drink and the famous Velo Retro old school cycling events through the Lake District World Heritage Site. It’s about as much fun as you can have with your retro clothes on! So put it in the diary and get ready for one of the great weekends of the summer.
It is with great sadness, that we feel compelled to cancel Retro Rendezvous 2020 due to the risks presented by the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
We have given this a great deal of detailed consideration. Knowing, as we do, that running the event would give a significant psychological lift for our community, our many visitors and a much-needed boost for our local tourism and hospitality sectors, we have not taken this decision lightly.
We are bitterly disappointed to have to make this decision, particularly as, following the success of 2019, which was a real breakthrough year for the event, planned visitor numbers had increased significantly again for 2020. Bookings for the cycling event have been taken from across Europe and the USA.
Regardless, we felt that we had to put the health, safety and security of our visitors and communities first and place the long-term security of the event ahead of short-term gains. This decision protects the future of the event and ensures that it continues to be held in high regard by the local community, visitors and key statutory organisations.
We are committed to delivering the event to a high standard in the long term and with this in mind, we are considering a date change for 2021, we need to consult a range of stakeholders on this and will announce a decision as soon as possible. We have outlined the basis of our decision-making process below.
If you have booked a stall with us, the default position is that you will automatically be transferred to the 2021 event at 2020 prices. If you can stay with us over the winter, that would be fantastic and will help significantly in having funds together to build the 2021 event. However, if you need to cancel, we will refund.
We would like to thank you for your ongoing support and patience as we have worked through this and look forward to seeing you many times again, in a happier and safer world.
The Retro Rendezvous Team, July 27th 2020
Basis of Consideration
- Safety. At the basis of every possible approach, we considered the degree to which we could protect the safety of the local community and visitors alike. Regardless of the restrictions considered, we could not see a way forward with any reliable degree of control. Currently, public health officials are fighting to contain C-19 outbreaks in West Lancashire and Carlisle / Eden, the risk therefore, must be considered as elevated here. The key repeated question was ‘how would be feel if an outbreak occurred here or elsewhere, as a result of the event going ahead?’
- Quality. Could we offer an event which was qualitatively similar, to people’s usual experience of the weekend? The answer, consistently, was a resounding ‘no’. Further, many of the more popular elements, gain their energy and joy from large numbers of people congregating tightly together. We would be unable to deliver a recognisable Retro Rendezvous
- Financial. Cancelling the event for 2020, creates a significant financial burden, building two years of fixed costs for one year of revenue. This presents a genuine challenge, however, as a mature event this is survivable. If we were to go ahead and then later forced to cancel at short notice, having committed to full event costs, the impact could be catastrophic. This situation is amplified by the need for significant numbers of additional staff to ensure COVID security. Event insurance covering C-19 cancellation is not available.
- Risk and uncertainty. The legislation around C-19 restrictions has been created, by necessity, very quickly, missing out many of the normal stages of review and consultation. As a result, much of it lacks clarity at a detail level and all of it lacks the precedent of case law. As such, we have had to take a precautionary approach. In effect, the more that we know, the more questions arise. For example, we are not entirely clear if we could legally run an event of this scale. We do know however, that in the event of a local outbreak, we would be expected to cancel, without notice – this has been reinforced by the unexpected restrictions placed on Spanish travel this weekend.
Attention Classic Car Owners
We’d love you to come along and exhibit your vehicle in the centre of Ulverston on either or both days of the festival, between 10am and 4pm. We’ll even provide tea and biscuits.
If you’d like to attend our 2020 festival, please help us to plan by registering a few details. Click on the car registration button below. Registration opens soon.
Market Traders ~ 2020 stall booking is closed
Book a space outdoors or in the marquee for one or both days of the festival. Prices start at only £30 for one day (Sunday) outdoors in a 3m x 3m space. A table/space in the marquee next to the main music stage and food court is £90 for the whole weekend. Your business will be listed on our Market page as soon as you’ve booked. Find out more and book online. Photo by Steve Fleming.
À L’ancienne, Le Loafeur, and The Mighty Corinthian. Three vintage cycling events within the Lake District World Heritage Site, organised by Sportive Lakes, all taking place during the Retro Rendezvous festival weekend. Photo by Steve Fleming.
Thank you to our magnificent supporters
We are extremely grateful to The Northern Line and Ulverston Town Council for their ongoing support, and to Ulverston BID for their generous donation towards the 2019 festival. As the event continues to grow, we would really love to work with one more major partner or sponsor. It this idea floats your boat, please get in touch with us via the contact form. Thank you.
What happens if it rains?
We’re keeping our fingers and toes crossed for dry weather. If it’s wet, the event will still go ahead, as long as we can ensure that all the participants and visitors are safe. Many of the market stalls are in the covered marketplace. Various participating shops and pubs are indoors. The events in the Laurel & Hardy Museum and the Roxy Cinema are indoors. The outdoor music stage is covered, and we also have an extremely large marquee. In other words, we will do our best to make sure that the show goes on, and everyone stays safe and dry.
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