IT was with 'great sadness and regret' that at the weekend Benarty Events Group cancelled Rockore 2020 due to the ongoing COVID19 pandemic situation.

Plans had been well underway but were interrupted as the pandemic developed but it is now clear to the volunteers that holding the music festival will not be possible.

BEG chairman, Eddie Easson, said that they understood many would be saddened by this news as much as the Group and their many volunteers are.

However, as Eddie stressed, as always the health and safety of all Rockore friends, volunteers, contractors, artistes, and the local community, comes first, and for this reason they had moved the date forward to 2021.

“It is a very sad time for our Group at this time, having already cancelled the Gala and Pipe Band competition earlier in the year, but we have to conform with all advice and rulings. We left it as long as possible but in the end there was no option,” said Eddie.

"All purchased ticket holders will have the option to transfer your 2020 ticket to the 2021 event on Sunday August 21, but should you be unable to attend please be assured that a refund will be offered in full."

If you would like to roll your ticket onto 2021 there is no need to do anything as tickets will automatically be honoured.

However, if you cannot make the 2021 date and have ordered online from Skiddle, you must respond to their email as advised within it, in order to receive your refund. Getting this set up with Skiddle as due to work/furlough commitments, they need a bit of time to make contact with them. Once Skiddle has been updated check your inbox and junk mail also, as these emails are issued automatically.

Any ticket purchasers from the community outlets should private message direct to the Rockore or Benarty Events Group Facebook pages and arrangements will be made to refund, on receipt of 2020 tickets. Or contact a member of Benarty Events Group.

Looking ahead Eddie said: “Planning has already begun for our 2021 events, We fully intend to make up for the lost year. Our events will be bigger and better. "Already the messages of support that we have received from far and wide have been fantastic and have spurred us on to up our game.

"COVID-19 has greatly affected the events that Benarty Events Group put on. The first casualty was our very popular BEG Companions Club. We can guarantee our attendees on a Friday that we will be starting back up at soon as humanly possible.

"The Community Lottery was then suspended. This is the major source of fundraising for the group. Next to go was the Annual Pipe Band Competition, and the main event of the year the Benarty Annual Gala. The amount of planning that goes into these events is phenomenal and a great deal of time and hard work was lost".

But B.E.G. haven’t stood still during the shutdown though.

“In conjunction with Meadows Park Manager, Ian Laing, we have begun work on the arena grass area. The area will be dug up and new grass planted making the area better for all future events,” said Eddie.

"The work will be carried out by local business Vermicon. Ian Bruce’s company have been one of Benarty Events Group's biggest supporters in years gone past. While the work is being done, Vermicon will follow all Government guidelines required. The Benarty Events Group are totally funding this project.

"For now The Benarty Events Group would like everyone to STAY SAFE, STAY AT HOME, LOOK AFTER YOURSELVES AND FAMILY. We will get through this together and thank you all for the support you have shown us.

"Remember our motto, TEAM WORK MAKES DREAM WORK."