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French festival cancelled due to fire risks

France’s Villa Pop festival has been cancelled at the 11th hour due to concerns over wildfires.

The boutique two-day event was scheduled to welcome acts such as Boombass, The Supermen Lovers, Julien Granel and Mountain Honey to Le Pradet in southeastern France from 25-26 August, but has now been pushed back to 2023.

Organisers say the decision was taken due to “regulatory reasons which are beyond our control”.

“The risk of fires has increased in the region in recent days, and these security constraints have come to prevent the planned progress of the event,” says a statement to ticket-holders. “We have not found the solutions to welcome you in optimal security conditions on this site.”

Wildfires have raged across France this summer, amid successive heatwaves and its worst drought on record. France24 reports that more than 57,200 hectares have gone up in flames so far in 2022 – nearly six times the full-year average for 2006 to 2021.

“Venues that would have been able to accommodate us are now out of availability”

The Villa Pop team say they tried and failed to find an alternative venue.

“In order not to ruin the party and keep the festival going, we’ve searched for a new venue that can accommodate 1,000 people per day,” adds the statement. “Unfortunately, August is extremely busy with events around the region, and venues that would have been able to accommodate us are now out of availability until October 2022.

“Not wanting to welcome you in a setting that does not fit the image of the festival, we are forced to postpone this event to the summer of 2023 with a new suitable space.”

Dates for the 2023 festival will be announced soon, with tickets purchased for this year remaining valid. The deadline for refunds is September 15 2022.

Earlier this summer, the opening two days of France’s Eurockéennes de Belfort were cancelled after falling victim to inclement weather, while Rock en Seine scrapped a planned standalone date headlined by Rage Against the Machine, following an injury to RATM frontman Zach de la Rocha.


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