Newbury Showground has issued the following statement:
Newbury Balloon Festival: Cancellation of booking at Newbury Showground
We regret to announce that we are no longer able to host the Newbury Balloon Festival at the Showground. We had been looking forward to this event which we thought would be a great enhancement to the local event calendar. Sadly and despite several extensions to deadlines, the organisers have not been able to meet the terms and conditions of hiring the Showground. In particular, although a deposit was eventually paid late, the balance of the hire fee has not been settled. We are also conscious of our responsibilities for ensuring that events at the Showground are safely and properly managed for the benefit of those who attend and to minimise the impact on our neighbours. The organisers of the Balloon Festival have been unable to provide evidence of appropriate insurance, and have not produced event and traffic management plans that we or West Berkshire Council regard as adequate.
Naturally, we are very sorry for those who had booked to come - and they should seek refunds from the organisers - but in the circumstances, and having shown as much flexibility as we could, we have been left with no choice but to regard the booking as cancelled.