£10 million blow as Lincoln Christmas Market cancelled

The Lincoln Christmas Market, which was due to start Thursday, December 2nd, has been cancelled — dealing a harsh blow to Lincoln’s economy.

This decision has been taken because of the poor weather conditions that have hit Lincoln over the past couple of days, which are expected to continue.

It’s the first time the market has been cancelled in 28 years. The local economy has suffered a big loss, as the market brings in an estimated £10 million every year.


The Lincoln Christmas Market is a popular annual event. Photo: Paula Funnel via Flickr

Rob Bradley from the City Council, who is in charge of safety for the event, said: “Safety is our absolute priority at the Lincoln Christmas Market. Police advice is for people not to travel at all unless it is absolutely necessary, so we don’t want to encourage visitors and stallholders to travel to come along and risk getting stuck on the roads, or worse. The decision to cancel the event was a unanimous decision of all partners on the market’s safety advisory group.”

Councillor Darren Grice, who is the Leader of the City Council said: “We’re incredibly sad to have to cancel the Christmas Market for the first time” as it is an extremely popular event. However, the councillor was keen to point out that “the safety of our local residents, visitors, stallholders and staff is the most important thing, and we don’t want to put people at risk.”

Jingle the elf has also expressed his sadness at the cancellation of the event as he said on Twitter: “Unfortunately we’ve had to cancel the Lincoln Christmas Market due to severe weather. We’re really disappointed but safety is our priority.”


The outdoor ice rink was still open in the winter weather. Photo: Charlotte Reid

Matt Corrigan, chief executive of Lincoln BIG, said: “It’s really disappointing that the market has had to be cancelled due to the extreme weather, but there are still lots of reasons for people to visit Lincoln over the Christmas period and I’m sure thousands of people will still do so when the weather improves, we have a wonderful setting with our Cathedral and Steep Hill.”

However, Corrigan was keen to point out that Lincoln has other festive activities than just the market though including the outdoor ice rink, a Christmas farmers’ market and a Dutch lantern parade.

Ultimately Corrigan believes cancelling the Christmas market won’t cause too much trouble, saying: “Even Glastonbury festival takes a year off from time to time and I’m sure that the market will come back even better next year!”

42 Responses to £10 million blow as Lincoln Christmas Market cancelled

  1. Amy Whitehead says:

    What a blow ! So many people were looking forward to the annual christmas market, can’t deny it’s a little ironic that a christmas market has to be called off due to snow though.

  2. Actually gutted. The biggest event in Lincoln and they didn’t prepare for the worse case situation.

  3. It is very sad but understandable that the Market has had to be cancelled. However, please remember that ALL THE LOCAL SHOPS in the Cathedral Quarter will be OPEN, fully stocked and ready to greet all those brave souls who still choose to come. Merry Christmas.

  4. Dan Cope says:

    Damn, I actually had plans to go this year after a few years away at uni. This is thoroughly disappointing. Also, I said exactly the same thing as you, Amy, when I heard the news. Delicious irony.

  5. Renegade Master says:

    Suzy Maggie Aldridge – seriously, do you think this kind of weather could have been prepared for? It’s brought the country, let alone the county, to a standstill. Did you want some kind of special tropical sunshine brought in just for Lincoln? Give the organisers a break.

  6. Hayley Nixon says:

    This is very sad new for stall holders and retailers in Lincoln. I understand the need for health and safety precuation, but I myself run a very small family business and know how important the last 4 weeks run up to christmas is in terms of turn over, more so now with the recession. The lincoln market is somewhere myself and my whole family come each year and look forward to it as part of the build up to christmas. Snow is lovely when you dont have to leave home and your livelyhood is not effected by it.

  7. Lisa says:

    Was really looking forward to the market as have not been in a couple of years, could they not do it anouther weekend???

  8. Kara Moore says:

    The Healthy Hub had a stall booked at the market and we are very disappointed. We are determined tostill try and make this a great weekend for the people of Lincoln. Therefore, we are launching an appeal for indoor space within the City Centre that may wish to host interested stallholders. We can accomodate some here at The Healthy Hub on Beaumont Fee. Interested parties should contact us on 01522 523818 or 07793715931

  9. Ian says:

    Yes, who could have possibly predicted, or indeed wanted, snow for a Christmas Market. I blame Bing Crosby, he shouldn’t continue to encourage snow at Christmas because of obvious EXTREME danger it represents to humankind.

    I express my thanks to the Safety Advisory Group (ahhh a committee – one of my very favourite things!) for removing my, and everyone elses need to take personal responsibility and make an adult informed decision.

  10. Andy says:

    This country is a joke….the slightest bit of snow and the whole place grinds to a halt.
    I am still coming to lincoln tomorrow, market or no market. Will enjoy the local shops and do my shopping as normal.

  11. martin says:

    Yippee! Every year locals have to suffer this madness, I for one am happy its cancelled, now move it permanently to the showground and locals can park in their streets again and experience normality other towns and cities take for granted!

  12. “Renegade Master” – This may be the biggest snowfall of recent years but EVERY year the country is brought to a “standstill”. I would much rather a few tourists got their feet wet than the city lose £10 billion.

  13. Deb says:

    Why not hold it as usual and let people make their own decision whether they want to travel to it or not? Yes, there might be a few empty stalls, but I’m sure plenty of the vendors are local people who could make it. We don’t need nannying like this. The Christmas market is a major highlight of the year for many, and to cancel it because of the weather (which is afterall to be expected in December) seems ridiculous to me.

  14. As a Bed & Breakfast our pre-booked clients, being a mix of stall holders and visitors, no longer need or want accommodation. We are entitled to ask for full payment in accordance with our booking terms, but how do you tell a small stall holder he has to pay for 4 nights accommodation in addition to renting a van etc etc. No winners, just losers.

  15. I can’t get home to Essex because of the snow, and the one thing that made it better was that I could go to the Christmas market, but now that’s cancelled. It’s a Christmas Market, surely snow is part and parcel of this? Even if people from around the country couldn’t make it, at least locals could of gone.
    This health and safety society is ridiculous.

  16. Poi says:

    Gutted to hear – I wouldn’t have been visiting from Thailand mind but I know people from back home who are directly affected. Shame.

  17. Amazing – Have been to Vienna when it has been colder and the market was on… all the Continental markets still open – come on Lincoln….

  18. Renegade Master says:

    Suzy Maggie Aldridge – it’s more than a few people getting their feet wet isn’t it. Lincoln was grid locked last night with people struggling to get in and out of the city. Bus trips have already cancelled, people can’t actually get out of the homes in some places even if they wanted to come. Of course, it’s a major loss to the local economy but people still need to be realistic about what is possible in this kind of weather. A major event of this kind relies on having man power to operate it. If workers can’t get to the market, it can’t safely run. If visitors are put at risk, the organisers get sued for negligence. Then there’s a new round of criticism from people saying why did they carry on. The organisers can’t win either way.

  19. Renegade Master says:

    Sorry forgot to say its £10 million, not billion. Still a lot of money.

  20. Gillian Gurney says:

    We had hired a coach to bring 36 ladies from Virgin Chelmsford, so disappointing. Shame stall holders and visitors were not allowed to make their own decision and be responsible for individual safety. So sorry for the local traders.

  21. m sureburton road fish and chip restaurant and take away says:

    of course health and safety is our main concern but im sure at this late stage most of the stall holders are safely with us and some have been for a day or two,what about the enjoyment of local people? can people from further afield not make their own choices?as a bussiness owner on burton road i say come on lincoln, lets support our own local shops who often miss out and get overlooked by the market.

  22. Maggie says:

    It’s not the slightest bit of snow! it’s over 11 inches, the xmas market is set uphill, it’s very steep, I don’t blame them for canceling, imagine how many injuries there would be,

  23. Follie says:

    Such a shame that the Christmas Market won’t be on this year, HOWEVER, the spirit of the Christmas Market will still go on in all of the shops and businesses in and around the Bailgate area who will be open all weekend to get you in the festive mood.

  24. Debra says:

    Yes it is very sad the Market has been cancelled but peoples safety must come first, people seem to forget that the Market is held in a very steep area of Lincoln and a lot of visitors would be walking up the Hill to get to it!!!Immature comments made like” let people make their own decisions whether they still want to visit”!!we can do without!!! you seem to forget about all the accidents waiting to happen,emergency services put at risk too!! We are just not prepared enough for this amount of snow,which is so dangerous once d it has iced over and that is the main factor here!!

  25. Richard C says:

    But its not exactly difficult to arrange for a gritting lorry to trundle over it for 15 minutes – and since the uni is closed there are 10,000 students with nothing to do today – if every local who has one brought a shovel and the students provided the labour it could be cleared and usable in no time. There is local press and TV who could publicise it.

    I should throw in lines about wartime spirit etc while I’m at it!

  26. Goodies of Lincoln says:

    Yes, its very sad that the Christmas Market has been cancelled, but don’t forget, all the small local shops are keeping the Christmas Spirit alive. We will all be open as normal throughout the weekend, and welcome all the visitors that still make it across to visit Lincoln.

  27. Deb says:

    Debra, letting people make their own decisions would be the most mature thing to do, instead of taking all choice away from them, as though they are simpletons who need to be watched over. I’m glad to hear the businesses in the Bailgate area intend to stay open and keep up the ‘Christmas market’ spirit – I wish them all a happy and successful weekend.

  28. Mark says:

    Richard C, I can’t quite believe what I am reading, 100’s of buses travel to visit Lincoln, thats 1000’s of people travelling on the icy roads. The services are stretched as they are, getting students to volunteer to clear the snow is ludicrous, they are all to bust feeling sorry for themselves and rioting ;). The council have made the correct decision, lets hope that at least one life is saved rather than adopting the old spirit attitude.

  29. Don’t be silly, the students aren’t rioting, none of them in Lincoln can be bothered and it’s too cold. :P

  30. Richard C says:

    I don’t believe what I’m reading either. Are you are saying that the council have not enough resources to make the main roads into Lincoln safe – despite their experience gained from last years snow? You can’t possibly believe that our elected officials have basically learnt nothing and done nothing in the last year- can you?

    If the buses don’t travel during the rush hour and the roads are all gritted properly, I don’t see what the issue is.

    The weather warnings for Friday thru to Saturday are for untreated icy roads, not for more snow. I would rather hope the council will have sorted out the major arteries by then. A couple of cm of snow on a treated road will turn to slush and disperse within a very short time of traffic passing over it.

    So get the gritters out, spend tomorrow with a shovel and start the market on Friday.

    I made the suggestion knowing full well it would never work – it requires a bit of common sense, a ‘can do’ attitude, flexibility, imagination and someone making a decision – things that don’t come to mind when you hear the words ‘Council’ or ‘Safety Committee’. Oh the other fault is it also relies on students getting out of bed. :-)

  31. A. Hunt says:

    As a small farmer who was relying on this show for our family Christmas and having made a great deal of stock to sell, I am devastated. What about the money we paid for our pitches. There is nobody about to answer our calls or put our minds at rest that we will be receiving refunds. My stand cost £3,000. How can they just go ahead and cancel the market when all around Europe it snows all the time and they don’t cancel their markets. In fact, none of the other markets such as Cirencester, Oxford, Bath, Winchester, Rochester, Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham – shall I go on, are cancelled. This is was an easy option.

  32. Mark says:

    Richard, with your final statement you hit the nail right on the head. Unfortunately common sense will never prevail, maybe cancelling the whole event was a little to cautious, delaying it 24 hours and using the first day to make safe the area would be the ideal situation.

    I feel sorry for all the stall holders, surely the council will have some sort of compensation package for this instance.

  33. A. Hunt says:

    I just wanted to add that nobody from the Council has actually bothered to contact the stallholders to let us know it had been cancelled. We found out by phoning ourselves this morning. What about the people that didn’t phone. We have been given no thought.

    In the words of Matt Corrigan, chief executive of Lincoln BIG,

    Ultimately Corrigan believes cancelling the Christmas market won’t cause too much trouble, saying: “Even Glastonbury festival takes a year off from time to time and I’m sure that the market will come back even better next year

    Has he no thought for our livelihoods. What a stuipid thing to say.

  34. Ian says:

    Why is it just Britain cancelling, i was in Berlin and Salzburg a few years ago but they NEVER cancel!!!!!

  35. ketut suantika says:

    is very disapointed the lincoln xmas market is been cancelled, I have to back from bali just for lincoln market, is such a great atmosphere and one of the popular christmas market in britain. it a shame, suggest to delay until next week, or at least give us compensation for the trader.
    thanks

  36. Pauline says:

    I agree with the decision to cancel the market – gritters cannot grit the roads as they are mainly cobbled streets, inaccessible to the gritters. The hill is steep – it’s not called Steep Hill out of irony. Yes, it is a huge blow, and many thousands of people will be upset/angry, but safety has to come first, and carrying on with the market would be negligent.
    If it was to go ahead, numbers of visitors would probably be severely diminished due to the severe weather conditions and advice from police not to travel unless absolutely necessary – can any visitor truly say that it is essential they go to the market?
    My thoughts are with the stallholders who will have to cope with the loss of income, and all the stress of the market with none of the benefits.

  37. Debra says:

    Deb!! you don t seem to grasp the point being made here!! how are you to offer people the choice!!if you read the other comments you will have noticed that the main factor for the decision to cancel the Market was down to safety!!!!can you imagine the impact of hundreds of coaches travelling down on icy roads ,people slipping and breaking bones or even worse,not to mention all the compensation claims being put in!

    Im afraid in certain circumstances,choices are not there to be given,but a firm decision from those that have the last word is,as at the end of the day its all down to peoples safety,and that is the point being made!!!

  38. Debra says:

    Don t start on the students ,why should they remove the snow!!! And i think we can do without your wartime spirit thankyou very much.

  39. Richard C says:

    Actually I wasn’t ‘starting on students’ – I fully support them especially against the changes in funding. I was pointing out that the uni was closed so they happened to be free. Also what better way to get better PR for their cause than doing something for the community. There are enough people in the press portraying every demo as a riot and this seemed like a way of redressing the balance.

  40. Richard C says:

    The technique they use in other countries is to empty a load of grit at the top of a hill and then push it down the hill. Seems to work for them – and whilst steep hill is indeed steep, I’ve seen steeper with a lot more snow that has been made safe.

    Actually I do think it was the right decision to close the market – or at least postpone it. Not because it was impossible to make it safe, but because the culture we now have in the UK of sue if you trip over your own feet, it forces the public services to have to take a ridiculously overcautious attitude.

    Couple this with the the lack of freedom of the council due to the levels of bureaucracy built up over the years and you end up with a situation where as an institution it is not possible to react to anything with any speed.

    What is lacking is an elected mayor who can step in and say ‘make it happen’ – seems to work well in other countries.

  41. Vic says:

    Can’t believe it, this is the only thing that I actually look forward to out of all the year, it’s only a bit of snow, look at all the snow countries that have christmas markets, they manage it, Britain can’t do anything. Let the public decide if they want to go or not, you will be surprised on how many people will still go, even though there’s some snow!!!

  42. Chic Handbags, Steep Hill says:

    We agree that it is very sad that the Christmas Market has been cancelled, but the right decision has been made for public safety. We have been closed since Wednesday due to the snow but will be reopening on Saturday with lots of offers to compensate.