New Wine cancelled due to coronavirus, but says refunding will cost £1m and put future at risk

Christian festival organiser New Wine has announced it will be cancelling its upcoming summer events due to the coronavirus pandemic and has encouraged guests to donate their tickets to the company instead of claiming a refund.

Thousands were due to attend United 20 and Luminosity this summer at the East of England Showground in Peterborough.

New Wine United released a statement on Friday informing guests that although refunds were available, the financial implications could put the company’s future at risk.

“We want to go above and beyond to ensure the physical, spiritual, emotional and financial wellbeing of the New Wine family. It is with a very sad heart and in light of recent government announcements that we have decided, for the first time in our history, to cancel our summer events this year: United and Luminosity,” it said.

“We recognise that many members of our family may feel particularly anxious in this turbulent and uncertain time and some will face an extremely difficult financial situation. As such, in this extraordinary circumstance, whatever our Terms & Conditions might say, we believe it is the right thing to do to offer full refunds (minus deposit) to all those who request them.

“However, we have already had to outlay or commit to significant fees in preparation for this summer, which we will not be able to recoup at this late stage. In offering refunds, we are placing ourselves in your hands and under God’s provision. The decision to make refunds available could cost New Wine £1.06million and place not only future New Wine United events at risk, but the ongoing mission of New Wine – training, mentoring, planting and supporting local churches to change nations.

“If you are able to donate all or part of your ticket fee to New Wine, we would be extremely grateful and if you are able to donate additional funds to cover those who aren’t in the same position, this would play a huge part in securing the future of New Wine and our mission. We will release more information early next week about how you can do this.”

New Wine is the latest in a list of Christian festivals that have cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak, including Spring Harvest, Big Church Day Out and World Alive.