As September begins, it is only natural that we start moving away from thoughts of summer holidays and trips to the beach and towards autumnal hot drinks, winter walks and yep, you guessed it…. Christmas. As lockdown put a stop to most of the summer fun, this year more than ever, people are looking towards Christmas to bring back some cheer. Unfortunately, less than 24 hours into September we have been hit with some pretty bad news – Winter Wonderland 2020 has been cancelled.

Since 2007 Winter Wonderland has been a huge part of Christmas for many. Last year saw 3 million people squeeze through the gates to Hyde Park for their mulled wine, hot chocolate and beer in over sized glasses! Freezing temperatures and a battle for a seat never put Londoners and tourists off a visit to this iconic event.

As well as festive drinks, visitors can fill up on delicious food from a number of themed bars and restaurants and an incredible market. Winter Wonderland is the perfect place to start your Christmas shopping, with a huge selection of gifts for all ages. There are rides and attractions for thrill seekers, as well as live music, spectacular shows and even an ice rink!

For the first time in thirteen years, London is going to be a little bit less Christmassy. Many will argue that this is the correct and safest decision, but it sure is a sad one for the team at Winter Wonderland and for the millions of people hoping to attend this year.

A statement across their social media read: “It is with a heavy heart we share that Hyde Park Winter Wonderland will not be taking place this year. Our team has worked tirelessly, exploring every option in the hopes of being able to move forward with the event in a responsible manner, and provide London with some much-needed festive cheer.”

They added: “However, in light of ongoing health concerns, travel restrictions and uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, and considering the size and scale of this event, we just couldn’t find a way to do that without sacrificing the very thing that makes the event so special: bringing friends and family together in a fun, safe and interactive environment to celebrate the festive season.”

This draws everyone’s attention back to the events and hospitality industry. How do we fight back from this? Hundreds of agency, seasonal and temporary event staff would have had this pencilled into their diaries, after a summer of incredibly limited work. The events and marketing team at Winter Wonderland will have been planning this for months.  Retailers and food and beverage outlets now have limited time to try and find an alternative event (…?) to make an income over the festive period. Contractors, lighting, sound technicians, all out of a job. With an increasing amount of Pantos announcing they are unable to open this year and all large scale events at risk, the events and entertainment industries desperately need help. Here at Posh Cockney, we love events, for many of the team, it is where our passion for great hospitality started and we cannot wait to be able to get back to it. We Make Events has issues a Red Alert to highlight the ongoing problem and to try and gain meaningful government support, keep an eye out across social media for more updates on this!

That’s enough of the doom and gloom. Whilst the news of having to wait another 12 months to visit Winter Wonderland is sad, we know that London and the rest of the country will be doing whatever it can to bring the festive cheer. Large scale events may be difficult, but we are confident that smaller, local markets and socially distanced outdoor shows will be popping up in cities all over the country. You can even check out Timeout London’s list of festive things to do in London here!

How early is too early to put up the tree…?

Emma Bolton | PR Assistant | emma@poshcockney.co.uk | www.poshcockney.co.uk