This year’s Robin Hood Pageant, which was scheduled to take place this weekend (Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 October), has been postponed until Spring 2020 due to ‘poor ground conditions’ following the unseasonably wet autumn weather.
High rainfall in previous weeks left the ground waterlogged and, with further rain forecast over the next few days, is likely to prove dangerous for performers, particularly the battle re-enactments, which is a traditional highlight of the event.
Organisers also took the view that extra car parking areas required for the event could also become inaccessible, with the risk that vehicles would be stranded on site. Abbey car parks (separate to those planned to be used for the event) remain open. The waterlogged ground conditions have left organisers with little alternative but to postpone the event.
Those who have already bought tickets for this year’s event will be given the choice between a full refund or having their tickets transferred to the new date once this has been confirmed. Ticket holders will be contacted by their ticket retailer.
While the Pageant cannot take place, Newstead Abbey and its grounds were still be open to visitors over the weekend. With weather patterns changeable, visitors were encouraged to check websites and social media for the latest updates before making a journey.
Dave Trimble, portfolio holder for Leisure and Culture, said: “We were so excited about presenting this event in its new setting. It is unfortunate that the 39th edition of this ever popular event, has been overtaken by the recent wet weather.
With the battle scenes being a major reason for the event’s enduring popularity, the waterlogged ground meant that much of the programme would not have been able to be staged. Also, many of the re-enactors actually camp out on site during the event in period tents. We have to consider their access to site as well as their living conditions which would have been very unpleasant.”
Kinga Kapias, marketing and communications manager at Visit Nottinghamshire, said: “Naturally, we are saddened to hear that this event has had to be postponed, and we understand this was not a decision that was taken lightly. We appreciate that this will be particularly frustrating for those who have already purchased tickets for the October event, but the safety of the re-enactors and visitors alike must be a priority.”
The Pageant, which has traditionally been held in October and is now in its 38th year, was due to be staged in a forest setting close to the historic Newstead Abbey while Nottingham Castle undergoes its £30m transformation.
This spectacular event, themed around the power struggle between Robin Hood and the Sheriff of Nottingham, had been set to offer a diverse programme of entertainment including dramatic medieval re-enactments, a wealth of costumed period characters, historic demonstrations, hands-on activities, theatre and much more.