A POPULAR Herefordshire festival has been cancelled just weeks ahead of its opening.

The El Dorado Festival, held at Eastnor Castle Deer Park near Ledbury, has become a fixture on the festival calendar, and was due to take place from July 11 to 14 this year.

But its fans are in for a disappointment this year, after organisers brought this year's plans to a screeching halt. 


In an announcement on the El Dorado Festival website, organisers said they were "heartbroken" to announce that the 2024 festival, which was due to feature acts including Boney M, Maizie Williams, Horse Meat Disco, Flowdan and Honey Dijon, will no longer take place.

They blamed the cancellation on the "potential for catastrophic losses" caused by a "dramatic rise in operational costs" and the effect of the increased cost of living. 

"The last thing we want to do is deliver a festival that cuts corners and does not live up to what you have come to expect from El Dorado," organisers said.

"We have therefore been left with no choice but to cancel this summer's event and look ahead to 2025."

The statement said the festival, which was started in 2016, has tried to weather the storm, but that it has just not been possible this year.

What are your thoughts?

You can send a letter to the editor to have your say by clicking here.

Letters should not exceed 250 words and local issues take precedence.

"We know we are not alone," the statement said.

"There has been a lack of Government support in our sector, with many independent festivals announcing their finals years, reducing their capacities, or being forced into cancellations."

All 2024 weekend camping tickets, day tickets, Big Green Coach passes and boutique packages will be refunded automatically, the statement said, while car park passes, shuttle bus passes, and live-in vehicle passes will be refunded separately by the end of July. 

Those who bought tickets using Klarna may need to take additional steps.

Organisers said that while the immediate future of El Dorado is uncertain, they will be doing everything they can to ensure the festival returns in 2025 and beyond.