Organisers of Sidmouth Literary Festival have confirmed that this year’s event will not take place citing the effect of the upcoming rail strikes on the festival’s attendees and speakers.

In a statement about the decision, the Festival’s Director, Liz Gordon, said: “A large number of our speakers were due to travel from London and while arrangements to transport them to Sidmouth were attempted, there is no guarantee that the trains will be running as normal when they need to return. These circumstances are beyond our control and it was too risky to wait until the last minute to find out whether the strike would go ahead or not.

“As you can imagine, as a Committee, we are devastated at having to cancel this event, particularly because at this stage, so much planning had gone into the weekend. The decision was not taken lightly. The good news is that the Festival will be rescheduled and we will post details as soon as we can with the new dates.

“We’d like to thank all our ticket holders, speakers, volunteers, Sidmouth Rugby Club, Kennaway House, Royal Glen Hotel and the Royal York Hotel for their understanding and support.”

Anyone who has bought tickets online will receive an email confirming a full refund. Anyone who purchased their tickers at Winstone’s Books should return to the shop to get their refund. Anyone who purchased tickets for the How to Get Published Day and one to one feedback sessions will shortly receive an email and details of a refund.