Arts festival cancelled

John Case, chairman of the festival organising committee

The 2020 Rye Arts Festival has been cancelled due to the immediate and medium-term implications of the coronavirus crisis. John Case, who is a trustee of the festival and chair of the 2020 festival organising committee explains:

“After much heartfelt thought and discussion, the trustees have made the very sad decision to cancel the 2020 Rye Arts Festival as a result of the deepening national crisis caused by coronavirus (Covid-19).

“Whilst the festival was due to take place in September, which is six months away, we feel we cannot take the financial risk of committing to such a large-scale festival in such uncertain times. In the coming weeks we would have to commit to increasing and substantial expenditure for marketing and so on well before tickets go on sale, so in these uncertain times the trustees felt we must do our best to preserve the festival’s future financial position.

“We also felt that with so many local businesses facing an uncertain financial future it would be wrong to approach these generous people for sponsorship and advertising, which is so vital to the festival’s finances. For so many people and businesses in Rye every penny really does count.

“We also have to consider the health and safety of the people in the festival organising committee. There would be a lot of planning and organisation still required and the trustees felt it was unfair to ask the committee to continue to work in an environment that would go against the government’s strong recommendations for social distancing.”

But John has some words of encouragement: “The good news is that we will be back in 2021 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Rye Arts Festival in a big way!

“However, if the situation improves in the next couple of months, it may be possible to present a small number of events in late September, but we do need to let the current global and national situation stabilise before committing to anything.

“On behalf of the trustees and festival organising committee we would like to thank everyone for their support for the festival, which is invaluable, and look forward to seeing you in 2021, if not sooner.”

Source: Rye Arts Festival

Image Credits: Kenneth Bird .


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