Coronavirus concerns lead to cancellation of major arts events in Chipping Norton

Coronavirus concerns have led to the cancellation of a major arts event and the closure of another arts venue in Chipping Norton.

By Matt Elofson
Tuesday, 17th March 2020, 11:22 am
Updated Tuesday, 17th March 2020, 11:23 am

Organisers of the 2020 Chipping Norton Literary Festival have cancelled the upcoming festival originally scheduled for next month from April 23 to 26.

A statement issued by organisers last night (Monday March 16) said: "We have had to make the wretched but inevitable decision to cancel ChipLitFest 2020.

"We'll be contacting our authors, audience, sponsors, partners, volunteers very soon. All customers will be due a full refund.

"We are heartbroken not to be able to deliver the Festival, we had been so excited about the fantastic range of brilliant authors, speakers and illustrators due in Chipping Norton but we couldn't risk the health of those authors, the audience, the volunteers and the community."

The festival director, Jenny Dee, took to social media following the announcement and said: "I am heartsick. Inevitably, I have had to cancel our wonderful little community festival.

"All my love and thanks to the brilliant and dedicated team of fabulous women who work all year to bring the very best books, authors and illustrators to Chipping Norton."

Officials with the The Theatre Chipping Norton have also cancelled all public events closing the theatre.

The Chipping Norton Theatre (photo from the theatre's Facebook page)

The theatre has taken advice from the government and posted a statement on its social media sites about its actions.

The theatre statement reads: "Coronavirus Closure: Having received clear advice from the government and UK Theatre, we are regrettably cancelling all public events in the coming weeks.

"The initial closure will begin with events on Tuesday 17th March (including Sarah and Duck) and extend as far as performances up to Sunday 26th April (including all Chiplitfest dates) and workshops and classes up to Sunday 5th April.

"Customers for events in that period will be contacted over the coming days by theatre staff. Where possible, we will look at rescheduling dates for the future.

The committee of volunteers who make Chipping Norton Literary Festival happen.

"We would ask you to be patient and wait for us to contact you as the phone lines will be extremely busy.

"All customers will be due a full refund, but we would invite you to consider either making your ticket purchase a donation to The Theatre Chipping Norton, or holding it as a box office credit.

"The next few months are going to be exceptionally difficult for small unfunded theatres like us, and we need your support to keep the theatre above water."

Chipping Norton Lit Festival