Food festival pulls plug on last day over high winds

Foodies Festival In Inverlieth Park, Edinburgh is cancelled due to weather. Foodies Festival Director Jeremy Hitchen is pictured loading his car. Picture; Toby Williams

Foodies Festival In Inverlieth Park, Edinburgh is cancelled due to weather. Foodies Festival Director Jeremy Hitchen is pictured loading his car. Picture; Toby Williams

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BOSSES behind Edinburgh’s biggest food festival were forced to cancel its last day due to high winds.

Foodies Festival – the largest of its kind in Scotland – closed down early yesterday morning amid safety fears.

Traders and customers said they were disappointed at the move, but understood why the decision had been taken.

George Papadoboulos, who ran a Greek food stall at the Inverleith Park event, said the organisers had to put “safety first” but added that it was “not easy” for businesses when an event is cancelled at short notice.

He said: “We found out early in the morning. I might not be happy, but I’m happy nobody was hurt.”

Sue Elliot, who operated the Cottage Delight stall and sold jams, pickles and preserves, said bosses “maybe should have decided last night” whether or not the event would go ahead.

She added: “It’s disappointing, because it was actually going really well. Yesterday was an amazing day – the atmosphere was fantastic.”

Confused customers were still being turned away late into the morning, with some having travelled from as far as Aberdeen.

One angry man said he had bought a ticket online for £25 at 9.50am – around 20 minutes after the event had been cancelled.

A festival spokesman said: “Sadly, due to high winds, we have taken the decision to cancel the festival in the interest of public safety. Anyone who had a ticket can contact us on enquiries@foodiesfestival.com to exchange their tickets for our Christmas event on November 25 to 27.”

Asked if businesses would also be getting a refund, he said organisers were “working with” traders to “arrange trading opportunities at our other events”.

Gusts of up to 50mph swept through central Scotland yesterday, with a yellow warning in place throughout much of the country. Forecasters warned of “localised disruption to travel and outdoor activities”, with the strong southwesterly winds occasionally reaching gale force.

A supervisor on site at the festival yesterday said the weather was “monitored through the night” but had to be assessed “on the day”.

Foodies is the UK’s largest series of food festivals, with events in Brighton, Bristol, 
Birmingham, Oxford and Harrogate, as well as Edinburgh. The festivals boast Michelin-starred chefs and top bakers, as well as different stalls, tents and talks.

This year’s Edinburgh highlights included appearances from well-known chefs Marcello Tully, Jacqueline O’Donnell and Mark Greenaway, alongside TV and radio star Hardeep Singh Kohli. There was also live music, with pop-up bars selling wine, champagne and craft beer.