Lack of exhibitor interest despite local support

The organisers of the Boat & Leisure Festival ‘Cowesfest’ have cancelled the event, which had been scheduled for Cowes Yacht Haven on 4 and 5 June.  

The event aimed to create a display of British boats and outdoor leisure activities, with live music. Organisers said it had ‘not been possible to encourage enough companies to take space’.

Managing director James Brooke said: ‘In order to help protect the future of other events and exhibitions, any companies wishing to exhibit at them really must understand that they will not be able to take advantage of any discounted or free stand space by waiting until the last minute to book!

‘This notion simply undermines the potential success of the entire event and shows little consideration for all the other exhibitors who have been so supportive from an early stage.  This culture has become widespread within the marine industry, and we consider it to be a greater threat to the future of exhibitions than the current economic climate.’

He added: ‘We feel that cancelling the festival now is the responsible decision to take as it would be hugely disappointing for everyone if we produced an event that is anything less than exceptionally good. We pride ourselves on delivering high quality events, and hope that the time and effort that has been put into planning this event can be rewarded at a future date.’

Any deposits paid are being refunded in full.