Circus cancels over a lack of time to prepare
Billy Smart's Circus, due to take place on Lincoln's South Common, has been cancelled.
The renowned circus was due to open on Monday, February 18, and run until Sunday, February 24, as part of its 2013 tour.
Organisers say that they needed to arrive the weekend prior to opening in order to set up its big top, train new staff, welcome international acts and start rehearsals.
However, the City of Lincoln Council is said to only have allowed the circus to arrive as early as Thursday, February 15.
A statement from Billy Smart's Circus said that this would be "inadequate time" to "produce a show worthy of the great Billy Smart name".
The cancellation means that a gala performance on the opening day, raising money for St Barnabas Hospice, has also been cancelled.
Steve Lockwood, leisure, sport and city services manager at the city council, said: "Every three years the city council goes out to tender on the sole rights to hold a circus on the south common twice a year.
"We have received a request from the holder of the current tender to arrive on site a week early.
"We have explained that this is not possible because it moves outside the specifications of the tender and could result in our decision being challenged. Extending the stay would also cause extra damage to the common."