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Events update from Plymouth City Council and Mayflower 400

16 June 2021

We are incredibly disappointed to have to announce the cancellation of events due to take place on the 10 and 11 July, the Mayflower 400 Four Nations Ceremony and Plymouth Presents: Roots Up! and Soundwaves Festival, due to the delay in easing the Covid-19 restrictions.

We had planned to fence and ticket these events to try and mitigate any Covid-19 restrictions. However, it’s impossible to rehearse and host the Mayflower 400 Four Nations Ceremony while social distancing is still a necessity due to the sheer size of the production. The safety of the performers, crew and audience is our absolute priority.

Adrian Vinken, Chair of Mayflower 400 said: “Our thanks go to the creative and production teams, choirs and actors who have worked so hard to create an amazing Ceremony performance. We’re devastated that we won’t be able to share it with the public in the format we had planned but their safety is paramount.  We’re looking into alternative ways to capture and share this very special performance and commemoration with the people of Plymouth and the world so all that exceptional work is not lost.”

Roots Up! and Soundwaves Festival will also no longer be able to take place on 10 July.

Street Factory’s Toby Gorniak, artistic director of the Roots Up! Hip Hop festival said: “We are heartbroken, but recognise that people’s health must take priority. For the Street Factory family it was going to be an unprecedented opportunity to showcase the Hip Hop and performance skills of some extraordinarily talented young people, as well as to share our core values of respect, peace, love, unity and having fun, all in the context of the very important Mayflower story.

“Everyone at Street Factory has worked incredibly hard on Roots Up! and we will be searching for ways to put this unique Hip Hop festival in front of the audience it deserves.”

Hannah Harris, CEO of Plymouth Culture said: “We are deeply disappointed that an extension to the Covid-19 restrictions means we have to cancel the Soundwaves Festival. The organisers and artists involved have worked so hard to develop an amazing line up but this is the right decision to make for everyone’s safety.

“We are acutely aware of the ongoing and disproportionate impact these delays and decisions have on the cultural sector and live event/music industry in particular. As such, we are committed to continuing to supporting the music sector in Plymouth to restart in other ways and will be reconvening with the team to see what alternative opportunities might exist to help artists and audiences.”

Ruth Harrell, Director of Public Health for Plymouth, said: “We know the delay in easing restrictions will cause disappointment for many people, but public safety remains the utmost priority. Although the vaccination programme in Plymouth is going well, it’s important that everyone continues to work together to keep the virus under control and follows the safety measures in place. Whilst this decision is difficult it is the right call to keep both performers and visitors safe.”

There’s still a huge range of exciting Mayflower 400 commemorations taking place in Plymouth that everyone can enjoy safely, including the Mayflower 400: Legend and Legacy and Wampum: Stories from the Shells of Native America exhibitions at The Box, The Hatchling performance in August, the Mayflower walking trail and fantastic community activities. Special commemorative theatre productions are also taking to the stage at the Theatre Royal Plymouth. 400: A Comedy by Le Navet Bete tackles 400 years of history with humour and is running from 16 to 19 June and 22 June to 4 July, while international community production This Land will also take place at a later date 

As an elite, professional sporting event, SailGP’s Great Britain Sail Grand Prix on 17 and 18 July will still go ahead adhering to government guidelines and SailGP’s own COVID-Safe plan. Attendees that have purchased tickets for SailGP’s socially distanced spectator area will be able to watch from the waterfront, while boat owners can take their own boat out to watch the racing in line with government guidelines. The event will be live streamed on SKY Sports (UK & Ireland) and YouTube for everyone else to watch safely at home.

For more information and FAQs, please see

More details about Mayflower 400 events and activities can be found at