THE Presteigne Festival board have cancelled the 2020 event, but managed to arrange an exciting alternative.

It will feature Presteigne Digital, a Winter Festival Weekend and the Festival Orchestra’s first commercial recording project for the Resonus label.

Presteigne Digital, which runs from August 24-27, will feature performances from the Carducci Quartet, Amy Dickson and members of Nova Music Opera.

The programme for the first ever Presteigne Winter Festival Weekend will be announced in mid August. A nine-event celebration of string and vocal chamber music supported with literary and music talks, originally programmed for the 2020 festival. All events, which are planned to take place from November 27-29 will be given to a small, socially distanced audience at St Andrew’s Church.

The Festival is extremely grateful to many of its grant funders and individual patrons for agreeing to maintain financial support at this difficult time. These alternative projects, and the 2021 Festival, would be impossible to realise without their understanding as ticket income so vital to our organisation could be reduced by as much as £24,000.

Finances and the festival’s future are in the balance. Many freelance artists are struggling financially due to the effects of coronavirus. In arranging these activities Presteigne Festival is now able to guarantee much needed performance or cancellation fees for all artists who were to appear at the 2020 festival.

Artistic Director George Vass said: “Whilst this imposes considerable financial stress on the organisation, artists and composers are at the very core of our activity; without them the festival would be nothing at all – we have to support them all we can.”

This is the first time in 38 years that the Presteigne Festival has been forced to cancel. It is hoped that this will be the last – plans are currently being made for the 2021 edition, which will run from August 26-30 next year.