Manchester Bonfire Night events cancelled for 2021 over Covid status concerns

The city council has confirmed its organised firework displays will not take place due to Covid concerns.

Bonfire Night

Eight council-organised bonfire and fireworks events will not take place this year, it has been confirmed today.

Manchester city council says the decision was taken ‘reluctantly’ based on current government advice that large scale outdoor events with ‘close density crowds’ should require attendees to prove their Covid status, either that they have been vaccinated or that they have tested negative.

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They said this left the events ‘unworkable’ for this Bonfire Night.

Events are normally held at Heaton Park, Platt Fields Park, and Wythenshawe Park, attracting tens of thousands of people, with five smaller events at Crumpsall Park, the Eithad Campus, Cringle Park, Debdale Park and Brookdale Park.

‘Decision not taken lightly’

Coun Rabnawaz Akbar, executive member for neighbourhoods, said: “This is not a decision we have taken lightly and I know that many people who look forward to these events will be disappointed, especially when we could not host them last year because of coronavirus restrictions.

“But the health of Manchester people, and the logistical considerations around that, has to come first. Concerns around high Covid infection rates, especially among children and young people who would traditionally make up the bulk of the attendance for this sort of event, also have to be factored in.

“This is not a blanket ban on fireworks events in the city. We would support externally-organised, pre-ticketed events provided they have suitable Covid-management plans in place. But it does mean that we are simply not in the position to host the free, non-ticketed events in our parks.

“We would encourage anyone who is planning to purchase their own fireworks to do so safely and responsibly and, as usual, will be working with partner agencies to help promote safety messages and prevent anti-social behaviour.”

Other major cities hosting large-scale fireworks displays have cancelled theirs too, the council added.