Due to the worsening Covid-19 Pandemic crisis, the Festival Trustees and I feel we have no option other than to cancel the 2020 Festival. These are words I hoped I would never have to write and I know that you will all share the huge sense of loss and sadness we feel about this situation. However, our paramount concern has to be the health and safety of our audience, our artists, and our wonderful team of volunteer helpers. We were also very concerned about our generous orchestra hosts having young musicians, who may have been in contact with infected people, in their homes.
As a ticket holder you are, of course, entitled to a full refund and we will be starting this process very soon. As you can imagine, it is going to be a lengthy process so we would ask that you please bear with us at this very difficult time.
NB – whilst we can refund tickets booked online, and make BACS payments, from our home, we can only refund card purchases whilst in the office. If the crisis worsens and our office building should be shut down, there will be an unavoidable delay in processing these refunds. If you paid by cheque we can refund you that way but it is vital that you send us the exact account name to make it payable to. As I’m sure you know, Banks are rejecting any cheques that are not made out to the exact name of the payee’s account. With this latter category it may be simpler if you send us your bank details and we can refund by BACS.
Please don’t telephone us unless it’s absolutely vital as this will only delay the refunding process. If you have a very urgent enquiry please email me.
As I’m sure many of you are aware, musicians are losing an enormous amount of work during this ongoing crisis and in most cases no fees are being paid. Many of them are facing the potential disaster of income drying up completely for many months. Because of this, we are determined to help our artists as much as we possibly can and will pay for any preparatory work already undertaken and reimburse any expenses already incurred by them. We would like to take this a step further and pay a proportion of their fees if we can but we have, of course, to balance this against the overall need for the Festival to stay solvent in this unprecedented situation. In common with most UK businesses, our insurances will not respond to losses arising from the current pattern of events.
If you have already booked tickets for the Festival and would be willing to convert part of your ticket purchase value to a donation, we would be enormously grateful for any support you can give our artists. We are conscious that every venue is probably asking you the same question and you may not be in a position to support us all. If you do feel able to help please email firstname.lastname@example.org with one of the following in the subject box. 75% REFUND, 50% REFUND, 25% REFUND, NO REFUND REQUIRED. If none of those options cover what you would like to do, please email with specific instructions email@example.com
Naturally, if you would like a full refund of your purchase, we are happy to arrange this. We don’t want anyone to feel under any pressure over this situation. We all have many priorities to consider at this time. If you would like a full refund please could you simply email me with the words FULL REFUND in the subject box. firstname.lastname@example.org
Some people have already flagged up the idea of carrying the ticket purchases forward to 2021. Although this may seem attractive, we really want to support the artists so far as possible out of 2020 festival funds, draw a line under this year, and start the 2021 festival afresh.
We will be contacting separately all our Sponsors, Patrons & Friends regarding their donations.
Finally, the trustees and I send you our heartfelt thanks for all the wonderful support you have shown us over the last eighteen festivals and hope we will all meet again in happier times for the May 2021 Festival.
Stay safe & well.
Charlie Bennett & the Festival Trustees – Ailsa Scott, Arthur Cunyghame, David Roberts, Richard Stephens
On a personal note, I would like to thank the Trustees for their support at this very difficult time and also the countless people who have already helped this year with the production and distribution of the printed programme, ticket processing, the setting up and management of the website, and many, many other tasks. The ‘Festival community’ is not confined to Chipping Campden, it spreads far and wide, not just in the UK but around the world, and comprises some truly wonderful people whom it is a privilege to know. We will come through this and will continue to bring great music & musicians to this town. Charlie