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Coronavirus: Aldeburgh Festival cancelled

PUBLISHED: 16:01 30 March 2020 | UPDATED: 12:14 31 March 2020

Roger Wright, chief executive of Snape Maltings. outside the famed concerert hall. Photo: Matt Jolly

Roger Wright, chief executive of Snape Maltings. outside the famed concerert hall. Photo: Matt Jolly

Matt Jolly

The Aldeburgh Festival has been cancelled because of coronavirus, the first time in its 72 year history it has not gone ahead.

Snape Maltings and the River Alde from the Sailor's Path  Photo: Philip VileSnape Maltings and the River Alde from the Sailor's Path Photo: Philip Vile

Organisers of the 2020 festival at Snape Maltings had been hoping a limited event could be held, but with the full extent of the coronavirus lockdown now known they have admitted defeat.

Snape Maltings’ chief executive, Roger Wright said: “It is with enormous sadness that we have to cancel the 2020 Aldeburgh Festival.

“Given the current unprecedented circumstances, this will not be a surprise but, nonetheless, we know how disappointing it is for our audiences, friends and supporters and for the entire creative community which would have been involved in presenting the events we had planned in June.

“We have waited to take this decision in the hope that we may have been able to present some of our events, given the variety of activity that the festival offers.

“But as recent days have made clear that hope was above reality and I recognise that everyone needs clarity in order to be able to plan, even though it is a message that we would never have wanted to deliver.

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“We will endeavour to present at least some of the planned activity at future dates, not least the music we were expecting to premiere.

“We will contact all ticket holders and we continue to be grateful for all those who, regarding next month’s cancelled performances, have made donations rather than asking for refunds but we are also very well aware of what an uncertain time it is for everyone.”

“All of my colleagues join me in looking forward to a time when we can be back together in this unique place, having our lives enhanced by the power of live music.”

The classical music festival is one of Europe’s leading events of its kind and was founded in 1948 by composer Sir Benjamin Britten, who lived in Aldeburgh, the singer Peter Pears and the producer Eric Crozier.

He added that they would be delaying the announcement of the August Snape Proms series to allow them to continue monitoring Government advice and will give a further update on this in due course.

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