Smoke on the water: The Dragon Boat Festival prepares for relaunchMar 07, 2021
THE PANDEMIC put paid to hundreds of events in 2020, with many also cancelled for 2021. Among them was the Milton Keynes Dragon Boat Festival, one of the biggest charity events in the area that raises tens of thousands of pounds for local charities each year.
After 18 years’ taking place on Willen Lake, the festival was cancelled last year and, amid an unprecedently tough year for those in the events industry, the owners of the festival organisers Gable Events decided to take early retirement and close the company.
There will be no Milton Keynes Dragon Boat Festival this summer either. But two of Gable Events’ senior event managers have purchased some of the company’s assets – including the dragon boats – and plan to resurrect the festivals under a brand new company.
Lucy Morton and Alicja Mierzejewska launched NewWave Events in June last year.
“Starting an events company during lockdown 1 was certainly a risk,” says Lucy. “But we knew we could make it work together and we just could not let go of the dragons. We cannot wait to be back with all of our staff and participants at the festivals and other events when this is all over.”
She and Alicja will use the time ahead of the planned 2022 festival to rebrand. “I am super excited for events to start up again and we cannot wait to bring the dragon boats back out on the water,” says Alicja. “We are preparing for the 2022 festival already and we hope to be back bigger and better than ever.”
NewWave Events is also looking for a charity sponsor for the Milton Keynes Dragon Boat Festival.