Aquafest 2021 cancelled due to Covid uncertainty

Throwback to Ely Aquafest 2019

2019 Ely Aquafest: Huge crowds lined the river and the bridge over the Ouse for the annual Ely Aquafest organised by both city Rotary clubs. It was an exceptionally hot day and brought out exceptionally large crowds for a day of on water and on shore activities. - Credit: ARCHANT

Ely Aquafest 2021 has been cancelled because of “uncertainty” about what Covid-19 restrictions will be in place by summer. 

The Rotary Aquafest committee members made the decision on Thursday because, alongside concerns it may be difficult to maintain social distancing, the committee has received fewer sponsor companies this year. 

Viv Doji, Aquafest Committee chair, said: “There were many reasons for cancelling this popular community event.  

“Mainly it was the uncertainty over how the easing of Covid restrictions will work out.  

“Aquafest is not an event that can be socially distanced in any way and it was felt that by July and possibly August there would still be some restrictions on large events.  

“There was also the thought that some stall holders, especially those who have close interactions with the public, such as food and drink providers, bouncy castles and funfairs, may not wish to attend.  

“These together with the toilets may be difficult to maintain Covid-19 safe.”  

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Whilst the Rotary Clubs of Ely were “desperate to hold Aquafest this year, the uncertainty of where we will be in July and the safety of everyone, made the decision to cancel the only one they could make. 

“We apologise to the Ely public for this cancellation, but we hope that they will understand.” 

The committee is, however, already planning for Rotary Aquafest 2022 - with a date set for July 3.  

“We are asking all the acts who were coming this year to put that date in their diaries. 

“And, if you are a business looking for advertising opportunities, please consider sponsoring by emailing  

“Also it gives all those raft builders out there time to build spectacular rafts for the Ely Raft Race.”