Duns festival cancelled for second year running

Duns Summer Festival Committee has announced that for the second year running, Reiver’s Week has been cancelled for 2021.

By Kevin Janiak
Monday, 1st February 2021, 11:52 am
2019 Reiver Ben Foreman and his lass Fiona Carnie in action during the 2019 festival.
2019 Reiver Ben Foreman and his lass Fiona Carnie in action during the 2019 festival.

With the coronavirus pandemic continuing to cause plenty of heartache and tragedy as well as uncertainty and disruption to our day-to-day lives, the committee has taken guidance from Scottish Borders Council and the Scottish Borders Multi Agency Safety Advisory Group, and agreed at a meeting last week that no principals will be installed this year and that this year’s Festival Week will, sadly, need to be cancelled, as it was in 2020.

It is a decision being taken by most of the region's summer festivals and common ridings.

Duns Festival president James Royan said: “Whilst we understand that this will be very disappointing news for so many of our supporters, we consider this to be the only sensible and responsible option during this time of uncertainty to ensure the safety and welfare of the people of Duns and further afield, and we sincerely thank you for your understanding during

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these very difficult times.

“The committee was of the opinion that it would be unfair to install principals when Common Riding events throughout the whole of the Borders will be severely curtailed.

“Should the guidance nearer the time allow, we hope to plan a programme of virtual events similar to last year, and if we are able to do so, we will keep you informed about these as appropriate.

"We hope that this decision will have the backing of the townsfolk.

“Our thoughts must go to those who have been impacted by this virus and we thank the NHS for their continued hard work, as well as those essential and critical key workers in whatever sector they are involved with.

“Hopefully we will see some kind of normality in 2022.

"Thank you very much for your understanding and continued support.

"Please look after yourselves and stay safe!”

Last year, the community came together in a different way, by sharing photos and videos of Reiver’s Weeks over the years on the festival’s Facebook page, taking time to relive those halcyon days.

The scarecrow competition was also a huge favourite, with 98 entries.