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Covid emergency: Roy’s art fair cancelled at Brick Lane’s Old Truman brewery over lockdown ban

PUBLISHED: 12:00 25 September 2020 | UPDATED: 11:50 29 September 2020

Roy's Art Fair due to to open in Brick Lane October 8 now cancelled because of Covid emergency. Picture: Annalisa Burello

Roy's Art Fair due to to open in Brick Lane October 8 now cancelled because of Covid emergency. Picture: Annalisa Burello

Annalisa Burello

The largest free arts fair anywhere in the British Isles due to open in east London after being postponed during lockdown has now had to be cancelled because of the emergency.

Art fair had already been postponed once from April because of lockdown ban. Picture: Annalisa BurelloArt fair had already been postponed once from April because of lockdown ban. Picture: Annalisa Burello

It was due to open in Brick Lane at the old Truman brewery boiler house on October 8, running for four days, where 80 artists would have kickstarted the cultural sector’s recovery after six-months of public exhibition bans.

Roy’s famous art fair had already been postponed from April due to the pandemic emergency.

Now organisers have been forced to throw in the towel over new government restrictions banning gatherings of more than six because of the Covid second wave.

“We are incredibly sorry to have come to this conclusion for the second time this year,” Roy’s arts fair said in a statement to the East London Advertiser.

Truman's iconic 150ft chimney was meant to herald arts world reboot after lockdown. Picture: GoogleTruman's iconic 150ft chimney was meant to herald arts world reboot after lockdown. Picture: Google

“It is with a heavy heart and great regret that our event scheduled for October 8-11 won’t be taking place due to further restrictions imposed this week.

“Our ambition was to be the kickstarter for the cultural and events industry during this time.”

It is a bitter disappointment to the arts fair which was planning to “reach new heights” at its new location in the boiler house with its iconic 150ft Truman chimney that towers over the Spitalfields skyline.

The sixth annual fair was to be a platform for upcoming and established artists vying for space to show their new works, after international events had been cancelled due to travel restrictions. Now even London is scrubbed from the arts pallet for the time being as Britain lurches towards a second lockdown.

The Bargehouse on the Southbank... where Roy's Art Fair plans to go next after Brick Lane shut-down, in March 2021 if all goes well. Picture: GoogleThe Bargehouse on the Southbank... where Roy's Art Fair plans to go next after Brick Lane shut-down, in March 2021 if all goes well. Picture: Google

But organisers aren’t done yet. They have launched Roy’s Gallery online where art lovers can view and buy works from artists who would have been exhibiting.

Organisers have a public event scheduled at the Bargehouse centre on the Southbank, by Blackfriars Bridge, next March. Details will be given nearer the time.


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