The annual Three Choirs Festival announced its 293rd edition this morning.
The festival will take place in Worcestershire between 25 July – 1 August, all being well.
The theme of the 2020 festival is voyage, marking the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower’s journey from England to the USA in 1620. There will be plenty of choral music by American composers.
Chief Executive Alexis Paterson said the festival team is working on a range of contingency measures in order to respond swiftly and positively to the evolving COVID-19 situation: ‘From looking at how we can go on sale as planned by offering a reassuring refund policy to bookers affected by the outbreak, to accommodating a delayed start to chorus rehearsals and adding extra handwashing facilities and hygiene measures at the festival itself, we’re doing everything we can to weather this unprecedented storm while keeping the welfare of audiences, performers and staff at the forefront of our minds. I’d like to appeal to audiences to get behind us and any arts organisation who’s still carrying on. Simply by booking with confidence, you can help us to keep contracts in place with all of the many individual performers, contractors, staff and local suppliers who will be depending on events starting up again as soon as restrictions on gatherings are lifted. This event – thought to be the oldest classical music festival in the world – has survived a few international crises in its three-hundred-plus years, and we’re absolutely committed to sharing the power and joy of making music for as long as we possibly can. I sincerely hope this summer will be a celebration of our communities coming together again after such a challenging time.’
The BBC Proms, meanwhile, has called off its public launch. An online rollout is promised, but no date has yet been set in a fast-changing environment.