Why the Festival was cancelled on Saturday
Ticketholders, manufacturers and exhibitors were officially informed by festival organisers late on Friday evening that the decision had been made to cancel Saturday’s event. That came in response to a Met Office weather warning for high winds, with 50mph gusts expected. The Festival of Speed site features several wooded areas, and multiple temporary structures.
It marked the first time in the 30-year history of the Festival that organisers had been forced to cancel a day.
A statement on the Festival of Speed website read: “It is with deep regret that we have taken the decision that the Goodwood Festival of Speed will not go ahead [today] (Saturday 15 July 2023). After consulting meteorologists, health and safety experts and other key stakeholders, we have taken the decision to close the event site due to a severe wind warning in the Goodwood area.
“On-site safety is our highest priority and the forecasted high winds will pose a serious risk to various temporary structures across the site. We politely ask that you do not travel to Goodwood or attempt to access the site.
“This decision has not been made lightly and His Grace, The Duke of Richmond, along with the whole Festival of Speed team, are deeply saddened that we will not run the event on Saturday for the first time in its 30 year history.”
Exhibitors were asked to secure their stands ahead of a site shutdown from 11am. Festivalgoers staying at the campsite were allowed to stay, but were advised to take heavy caution in the conditions.
The winds to have eased by the evening, and the annual Goodwood Ball – this year celebrating the festival’s 30th anniversary – was run as planned.
The event also resumed as planned on Sunday. Because the day was aleady sold out ahead of time, only Sunday ticketholders were allowed to attend.
Saturday ticketholders will be offered a refund in the coming days.