Riverfest 2021 will not set sail

Newport’s popular Riverfest 2020 was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The organisers have decided due to continuing public health concerns not to hold the event in 2021.

Newport’s popular Riverfest which was set to go ahead in May has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Organised by the Island’s Footprint Trust charity, and supported by Newport & Carisbrooke Community Council, it has been a regular feature for the past 12 years, attracting up to 4,000 local people. Every year dozens of local businesses and charities benefit, bringing thousands of pounds into the local economy, funding good causes and promoting environmental awareness.

Riverfest is the only sustainable transport event on the Isle of Wight; those visiting are encouraged to walk, cycle and sail or use public transport. Visitors are entertained by talented young people from the Island’s dance schools.

Speaking for the Trust Ray Harrington-Vail said;

We put public safety as our number one priority. It is with regret that we announce that this fun event will not take place.

The Trust asks that people monitor their Facebook and website pages for details of projects that we are able to engage in at the moment – helping people reduce their energy use and become more sustainable post Covid 19 are top of our agenda.

Riverfest is a fun free community event which usually takes place every May in the heart of the Isle of Wight in Newport, the Island’s capital. The event has all the feel of a traditional village fete, with many free activities for children. Local charities attend promoting the work they do in the community, helping people and the local environment. There is no entrance fee for visitors on the day as Newport Quay is owned by the IW Council, who kindy support this event by not charging for its use. Riverfest is organised by ourselves, The Footprint Trust, a local charity, who promote sustainable living.

Riverfest 2019 poster

If your business, charity or organisation would like a stand or are interested in becoming involved please email Ray Harrington-Vail for full details.

Huge thanks go to those organisations who in previous years have given financial and other support including Newport and Carisbrooke Parish Council, Isle of Wight Council, Southern Water, Co-opNatural Enterprise , Community Action IW with the brilliant Riverside plus local businesses, such as the Odessa Boatyard and The Bargemans.

Young people are at the centre of this event and perform at it, taking an active role in many of the organisations taking part. For example Salsa Touch, The Vectis Corp of Drums, The Enchanted Isle Princess, Short n Sweet and PJ’s Theatre School!

  • Click image above to see 2018’s Riverfest programme
  • Click here for the 2017’s Riverfest programme [PDF]Local traders support the event so that you can enjoy local food and drink, ranging from ice cream to vegetarian and meaty delights, along with cakes and sweets. Arts and crafts are also available at very reasonable prices. Renewable technology also features at the event along with information on sustainable transport, such as cycling and public transport. You could also try your skills on a rifle range, have a go on a bouncy castle and test your strength on a traditional fairground striker!
  •  Historical boats from the Classic Boat Museum are on show, along with vessels of all shapes and sizes that sail to this popular event.
  • Riverfest is the only car-free event on the Island, no parking is provided and those visiting are asked to use public transport, sail, walk, cycle or use the Water Taxi – contact them on 07974864627 or vhf 6, 77, 72.

We do encourage leaving their car at home. Many buses lead to Newport and there are bus stops close at hand, or the event is a short walk from the bus station. Newport Quay is also served by footpaths and is on a cycle route. For lots more details of how to get there see  Travelling to Riverfest

  • The event focuses on the historic river Medina, internationally important for wildlife but also a great place to navigate by boat, or walk or cycle along its picturesque banks. Historically, a harbour and quay and a place of boat building and industry. Today boats are still repaired and serviced along its banks and quayside, old power stations and industrial manufacturing have been replaced by new technology focusing on natural energy. The town’s name comes from it being the New Port for the original capital of Carisbrooke.

If you’re thinking of visiting the Island then make Riverfest part of your stay, fares from the mainland are generally cheaper at off-peak times, prior to the height of the tourist season. Many attractions are open and you can see what else the island has to offer at www.visitisleofwight.co.uk

We are very grateful to the many volunteers who support the event, without which Riverfest would not happen. If you would like to get involved in fundraising, stewarding, organising etc please do get in touch.

Riverfest aims to achieve the following;

  • Raise awareness of the environmental and leisure benefits of the water environment
  • Promote sustainable water use and conservation of wetland habitats
  • To promote organisations and businesses with an interest in the River Medina and the wider community

To sponsor this event or to find out about booking a stall please email ray@footprint-trust.co.uk or call Ray on 01983 822282.

Riverfest partner organisations

Huge thanks go to these organisations who give financial and other support including Newport and Carisbrooke Parish Council, Isle of Wight Council, Southern Water, Co-opNatural Enterprise and local businesses, such as the Odessa Boatyard and The Bargemans.

The Footprint Trust is grateful for the support from many further organisations, these include…

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