The 2020 Lichfield Festival has been cancelled due to the coronavirus crisis.
The event was due to take place in July, but the COVID-19 pandemic has seen the decision taken to axe the event altogether.
Festival director Damian Thantrey said the cancellation was confirmed “with much sadness”.
“We had hoped to save some of our events, but given the continued uncertainty over social-distancing restrictions in our venues and – most importantly – the need to protect artists, technical staff, volunteers and audience members, it was agreed that we had no other choice but to wait for better times in 2021.
“In more positive news, thanks to our wonderful Lichfield Festival Association members, the continued generosity of some of our key supporters, and emergency funding from Arts Council England, the festival will survive these challenging times.
“We are already speaking to our 2020 artists about returning in 2021 and, as far as possible, we will aim to present the exciting summer programme we had in place for this year.”Damian Thantrey, Lichfield Festival
The annual festival operates a range of events in areas including music, dance, exhibitions, film and theatre.
Despite the cancellation, Mr Thantrey said he still hoped to see some performances take place through other channels.
“We realise that online events are no substitute for the thrill of live performance, but we are currently commissioning some digital content to celebrate what would have been our 39th festival. This will run during our usual July period.
“In addition, we will share and bring you news of online performances planned by both past and future festival artists – please do support them and enjoy a taster of what we can all look forward to in 2021 and beyond.
“Like all arts organisations, losing our live events is dispiriting, especially for an established, annual festival such as ours.
“But live performances will be back, and, as soon as it is safe to do so, we will aim to programme some one-off events ahead of the usual festival season.
“Lichfield Festival is a resilient organisation which has weathered many storms. Please be reassured that, even in these difficult times, the board and festival team will continue to work to ensure we can celebrate the extraordinary artists, music, theatre, dance and visual arts events that come to the city each July.”Damian Thantrey, Lichfield Festival