Junkyard Market cancels some bookings amid queuing system shake-up
- Credit: Archant
The organiser of a free outdoor street market event has said a decision to reduce its capacity - which saw 28 bookings cancelled - was in the interest of safety, apologising for any disappointment.
After returning for the festive period, Norwich Junkyard Market began welcoming groups back from December 4.
However, after re-assessing the queuing system at the event, which is at St Mary's Work, the organisers decided to slightly reduce its capacity to allow visitors to arrive and leave in a simpler and safer way.
To accommodate the new system, which seems groups arrive in two staggered time slots, the reduction in capacity meant that 28 table bookings had to be cancelled.
Michael Femi-Ola, organiser of the event, said the measure was necessary to guarantee the safety of eventgoers - and that it was a decision made with a heavy heart.
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He said: "With Covid-19 restrictions ever-changing we have to constantly assess our safety measures and anything we can do to make things safer for our customers, we will do, as this is our top priority.
"We obviously don't set out to upset people, but it is far better to cancel bookings ahead than to have people come and not feel like they have had a good, safe experience."
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The event has already welcomed thousands of people since returning, with socially-distanced tables of up to six people allowed to attend under Tier 2 rules.
And Mr Femi-Ola said that those who had pre-existing bookings that were cancelled would be given priority for upcoming sessions, which will now be daily until New Year's Eve - excluding Christmas Day.
He added: "We are experienced events organisers so are constantly looking at things we can do to improve - which involves trying different things from time to time.
"We decided to try this new queueing system which will see two separate entrance times given in each time slot so fewer people arrive at one time. To make sure this works smoothly, we've had to slightly reduce the capacity but we think it will be better going forwards."
"We just thought it was the safest and best thing do to."