Goodwood Festival of Speed’s Sunday final day is still expected to go ahead
Festival of Speed cancels Saturday running for first time in 30 years as 50mph-plus winds forecast
Tomorrow’s penultimate day of the Goodwood Festival of Speed has been cancelled due to a weather warning for high winds, it has now been confirmed.
Forecasted heavy winds had thrown doubt over whether Saturday’s event would go ahead, and sources earlier this evening told Autocar it had been cancelled. Now, ticketholders, manufacturers and exhibitors have been officially informed by festival organisers that the decision has been made to shut the gates.
A statement on the Festival of Speed website read: “It is with deep regret that we have taken the decision that the Goodwood Festival of Speed will not go ahead tomorrow (Saturday 15 July 2023). After consulting meteorologists, health and safety experts and other key stakeholders, we have taken the decision to close the event site due to a severe wind warning in the Goodwood area.
“On-site safety is our highest priority and the forecasted high winds will pose a serious risk to various temporary structures across the site. We politely ask that you do not travel to Goodwood or attempt to access the site.
“This decision has not been made lightly and His Grace, The Duke of Richmond, along with the whole Festival of Speed team, are deeply saddened that we will not run the event on Saturday for the first time in its 30 year history.”
Exhibitors have been asked to secure their stands ahead of a site shutdown from 11am tomorrow. Festivalgoers staying at the campsite will be allowed to stay, but have been advised to take heavy caution in the conditions.
Organisers expect the winds to have eased by tomorrow evening, and the annual Goodwood Ball – this year celebrating the festival’s 30th anniversary – will go ahead from 7pm.
Sunday’s final day, which see a forecast of light-to-no rain, is currently scheduled to run as planned, with gates opening at 7am. Organisers emphasise, however, that Sunday is fully sold out and Saturday ticketholders will not be allowed entry. They will be offered a refund in the coming days.
Conditions were poor at the Sussex event on Friday, with the planned Red Arrows display cancelled at short notice and monsoon-like rain pelting the circuit for most of the afternoon. This resulted in some delays for drivers leaving the event car parks.