The Great Dorset Steam Fair will not take place in 2023 it has been announced.
Organisers of the event, which traditionally runs across the August Bank Holiday weekend at Tarrant Hinton, confirmed the cancellation in a statement citing ‘significant and spiralling increases’ in costs.
The shock news comes after the 2022 event was hailed a success by organisers, with thousands turning out for the fair.
The board of directors for the event said the decision was made with ‘great sadness and disappointment’ after a ‘thorough review of the 2022 show’.
“This has been an extremely difficult decision for us to make,” they added.
“While the 2022 event has been a fantastic and resounding success as a spectacle, it has been mired by significant and spiralling increases in contractor and infrastructure costs and the costs associated with meeting the necessary regulatory and statutory compliance which are commensurate with operating such a large-scale event.
“In short, as a big show we have big costs, costs which have risen disproportionately this year and, crucially, are very difficult to forecast for next year in the current economic climate.”
They said they, like the entire event industry, were still feeling the financial effects of the pandemic, as well as the aftermath of Brexit and the war in Ukraine, which have lead to ‘significant increases in staff, contractor, fuel, transport, material and equipment hire prices’.
The board added: “The likelihood is that event costs will continue to rise in 2023, compounded by the emergence of the cost of living crisis which will undoubtedly affect consumer confidence and spending in the event industry next year.
“While we appreciate that this will come as a surprise to many, given the success of the 2022 event, as organisers of a large scale major event we are acutely aware of the financial unknowns moving into 2023 with further cost increases likely and our regular customers, exhibitors and traders also feeling the financial squeeze.
“With the ongoing economic situation, the rise in inflation and the cost of living crisis, the reality is that it would be financially challenging for us to run the event in 2023.
“It is not prudent or sensible to hold the show next year and in order to safeguard and preserve the future of the Great Dorset Steam Fair, we believe this to be the right decision to enable us to continue to run a high-quality event in 2024 and beyond.”
They thanked supporters of the event and said it was set to return in 2024, running from August 22 to 26.
Tickets are set to go on sale in the Autumn of next year.