Traders' anger at being left thousands of pounds out of pocket after Edinburgh Foodies Festival is cancelled
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The food, drink and music festival was due to take place this coming weekend at the Scottish National Gallery Of Modern Art (Modern Two), but it has now been postponed to 2022.
Festival organisers said they were only told on Thursday that various Covid regulations would apply to the event making it ‘unworkable’.
However, Chiara Scipione, who runs Edinburgh's artisan Chocolate and Pastry Bar in the city centre, said she paid the final balance for a stand - only to be told just two days later the event would not be going ahead.
Chiara said: “Taking part in an event like this requires a lot of stock and organisation. We tried to buy at the last minute but because of Covid, everything has to be pre-packed and handled as little as possible.
"We started production, making a few things which have a longer shelf-life like dried biscuits and then suddenly I was told it had been cancelled.
"It cost over £1200 to just have a stall, as well as paying for extra stock and staff. A lot of my products are perishable and this is not the time to waste money."
She continued: “I am £3500 out of pocket with no compensation for the stock.”
Meanwhile, Gary Cennerazzo, owner of Italian wine wholesaler Bellissimo Vino, said: “It is an absolute disgrace, I am furious.
"We were doing a pop-up bar and I have spent so much on supplies. This has affected our cash flow - we had hoped to bring money in at the festival to cover output, but we are thousands of pounds out of pocket.
“They took the balance three days before they cancelled - surely they would have had a heads up this was going to happen?”
Noru and Craig Innes, from Pixel Spirits Distillery & Gin School, said: “We truly feel for the small producers who have already spent so much time and money getting ready for a busy festival.
"We had a hotel booked, paid a fee to attend and turned away huge amount of business for our gin and rum school experiences for the weekend in question.”
Catriona Mann from Bplastic free, which makes eco and vegan friendly reusable food wraps, said: “I had organised accommodation, staff and invested in stock. Just on Friday I received a delivery of over £2000 of stock for the event.
“It’s frustrating that small businesses, hospitality and musicians seem to be being targeted by a set of rules that don’t apply to footballers and their supporters.”
A spokesperson for Foodies Festival said: "We have been working with the council for months and applied for a dispensation to increase capacity while still keeping people safe.
"We were told at midday on Thursday this had not been granted and that new conditions had been put in place which were unworkable.
"We reacted very quickly and told all traders, exhibitors and visitors on Thursday afternoon so gave the maximum notice that we could.
"All of them have been given the opportunity to trade at one of our other festivals over the summer or the opportunity for a refund. I am absolutely gutted that we cannot go ahead."