Wigan Diggers Festival postponed until 2023
Wigan Diggers Festival will not take place this year, it has been announced.
The 11th annual event celebrating the life of socialist Gerrard Winstanley was due to take place in Wigan town centre on Saturday.
The festival usually attracts hundreds of people wishing to celebrate the life and values of the 17th Century pamphleteer and philosopher, who founded the Diggers movement and is well-known for his view that “the Earth was made a common treasury for all”.
However it was cancelled following the death of Queen Elizabeth II due to Believe Square being a focal point for official mourning in the borough.
Organisers have announced that the festival will be carried over to September 9, 2023.
A statement on Facebook said: “As you can imagine, the festival organising committee are deeply disappointed that the passing of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, has been followed by the cancellation of our festival.
"This decision to cancel the festival was not ours to make, instead it has come about because Wigan Council were required to implement a protocol that has been in existence for many years (and all councils in the UK have similar protocols.).
"Believe Square is the area allocated for events required following the death of a monarch, the fact that it coincided with our festival is sheer bad luck and is no reflection on the attitude of the council to The Diggers, or Socialist events in general.
“Following a meeting of the committee, it has been decided that the whole festival will be carried over to next year - so put the date Saturday, September 9th, 2023 in your diaries.
“We would also like to thank the kindness of all those suppliers, stall holders and sponsors who have already pledged their support, either by refusing payment despite the late cancellation or maintaining the donations they have already made or promised.
“Finally, we have suffered some losses and so we are planning a number of fund raising schemes and events running through to the next festival and we sincerely hope that you will also offer your support.
“Let’s continue to be united in our quest to make the earth a common treasury for all.”