Organisers ‘Desperately sad’ as Chobham Festival is cancelled

CHOBHAM Festival, an annual series of cultural events, is the latest public entertainment victim of the coronavirus crisis.

The committee which organises the concerts and other performances held in the village each autumn says it has no alternative but to cancel this year’s programme.

The Vida Guitar Quartet are among the artists who will now be performing at the 2021 Chobham Festival

“We are desperately sad to have taken the decision not to hold Chobham Festival 2020 in the light of the current COVID-19 situation and its uncertain aftermath,” said the chairman, Jennifer Britt.

“Despite the gradual easing of the lockdown, we understand it is extremely unlikely we would be able to stage concerts during the festival period this autumn, certainly not with sizeable audiences.

“Instead of opening the booking office in June as planned, we are postponing this year’s events to the autumn of 2021.”

The programme for this year was finalised before the lockdown began, as the committee starts planning for the following year soon after the festival ends in October. The decision to cancel follows the loss of two other major events in the village, Chobham Carnival and Chobham Show, due to the pandemic.

Performers booked for this year’s festival have been asked to reschedule for 2021, when the events will run from 25 September to 3 October. The planned concerts will feature classical guitar with the Vida Guitar Quartet, flute and harp music by Mozart and, in the light music strand, an evening of songs from the shows.

The festival will launch, as in previous years, with a jazz supper featuring the Panama Café Orchestra,

“We are still hoping to run events for children and families in early 2021,” said Jennifer. “We were already planning to hold our first standalone young people’s festival, including our established schools events and a children’s concert, separately a few months after the main festival. We will make a final decision about this nearer the time.”

Chobham Festival has run each year since 1994 and includes a flower festival every third year. Its venues include St Lawrence Church, the village hall, Gordon’s School and local cafés and restaurants.

“We are particularly proud of our classical concerts that also showcase the beauty of our parish church,” added Jennifer. “We look forward to many more years of supporting classical artists and bringing their music to the heart of Chobham once we were through this crisis.”

Updates on what is being planned for next year can be found at www.festival.chobham.org and on the festival’s Facebook page.

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