An annual music festival in St Neots has been cancelled due to Covid-19 – but organisers are still committed to hitting their fundraising target for three charities.

Buckfest 2020 is cancelled - but organisers still aim to hit £5,000 fundraising target in 500-mile cycle challenge. Picture: BUCKFESTBuckfest 2020 is cancelled - but organisers still aim to hit £5,000 fundraising target in 500-mile cycle challenge. Picture: BUCKFEST

Buckfest, which raised more than £10,000 for local causes last year, was set to see around 2,000 revellers gather at the site in Buckden next Saturday (July 18).

But while this year’s event has been pushed back to 2021 that doesn’t mean that the fundraising drive will stop.

Buckfest’s founder, Rick Holden, alongside committee member, Ian Brasher, have committed to an cycling challenge over the days when they would normally be setting up and running the festival.

They will be riding 500 miles over five days to help the festival reach it’s £5000 fundraising target.

Buckfest, Buckden, in happier times - the event attracts thousands of revellers from across the district. Picture: ARCHANTBuckfest, Buckden, in happier times - the event attracts thousands of revellers from across the district. Picture: ARCHANT

The three nominated charities for this year are the Hunts Community Cancer Network, Leonard Cheshire Brampton and Three Pillars Feeding the Homeless.

Rick, a keen cyclist, said: “Ian and I will be riding out from Brampton each day and covering 100 miles over five different routes, taking in around 20,000 feet of climbing across Cambs, Beds, Northants and Lincs.

“I have been training hard for the challenge during lockdown, but it will really push us to the limit.

“We are determined to do it and it will be an epic achievement if we complete it.”

Buckfest, Buckden, in happier times - the event attracts thousands of revellers from across the district. Picture: ARCHANTBuckfest, Buckden, in happier times - the event attracts thousands of revellers from across the district. Picture: ARCHANT

The rest of the committee will be walking 15 miles each on July 18, which collectively is around the same distance that they would cover on foot during the course of the festival.

They will be starting and finishing at Buckden Village Club, walking via Grafham, Perry and Brampton and will stop at various pubs along the route to help support them.

Paul Robinson from Grafham Brewing Company has also offered to open the brewery to give the walkers well-needed refreshments when they reach the village.

Organisers are asking for those who would have attended Buckfest this year to donate £12 - the cost of an adult ticket.

Or donate £5 (the equivalent of 1p per mile for the bike ride) or £20 (the equivalent of buying a round of drinks at the festival).

In addition to online donations, the festival has designed a commemorative fridge magnet which can be purchased from Buckden Village Club, Days of Buckden, Nisa Buckden and the Vine Buckden.

Nicky Warnock, committee member, said: “We are really pleased to have already reached £3000 but there is still a way to go and if we can beat £5000 it will be awesome.

“Times are tough, but if everyone who attended the festival donated just £2 per person that alone would raise £5000.

“We are so thankful to have such great support from the local community, particularly in such challenging times.”

Donate at the festival’s JustGiving page: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/buckfest2020

You may also want to watch: