Updates on Summer Festivals Canceled Due to Coronavirus Outbreak

By Francisco Salazar

***We will update this article as more cancellations are announced.

The coronavirus has affected a number of summer festivals. After the cancellation of the Grange Park Opera and the delay of the Glyndebourne Festival, many festivals are weighing in on the summer.

The Buxton International Festival has canceled its summer festival which was scheduled for July 2 – 18, 2021. In a press release the festival stated, “The government’s scientific advice makes it clear that the peak of this dreadful epidemic is still ahead of us and we have no means of knowing what the position will be by July. Following the most recent government statement prompting the closure of the Buxton Opera House, and with artists, authors, and musicians increasingly unable to travel, we cannot deliver a Festival of the quality you expect.  The trustees of Buxton International Festival are acutely conscious of the impact this decision will have on our artists and businesses in the town of Buxton and the High Peak. To safeguard the viability of the Festival for 2021 and beyond we must cancel this year but with your continued support, and our invaluable ‘Friends’ membership, we can look after our core staff and return with a better than ever Festival in 2021.”

The Amazonas Opera Festival in Manaus has interrupted preparations for this year’s edition which is scheduled for April through June.

The Bayreuth Festival announced that it would still go forward with its festival but was suspending ticket sales as the outbreak grew.

UPDATE: 3/19

The Brighton Festival⁩ has been cancelled for the first time in its 53-year history. The festival was set for May 2 – May 24, 2020

The Grange Festival has announced that this years festival will be canceled. The festival was set to open on June 5 and scheduled to run through July 12.

Opera Holland Park has postponed its 2020 season scheduled to open on June 2 through August 8. The company stated, “As a consequence of the UK government’s advice relating to the COVID-19 outbreak, Opera Holland Park is extremely sorry to inform you that the 2020 season scheduled to take place between June and August in our theatre in Holland Park will now not take place. We have been examining all of our options but the safety of our patrons and all of our staff on and off stage is paramount. OHP is currently exploring opportunities to mount operas scheduled in our 2020 season at a future date, at alternative venues.” Refunds and credits will be available for ticket holders.


June’s festival Nevill Holt opera has canceled. 

The Garsington Opera has canceled its 2020 festival scheduled from May 28 through July 18.


Blackwater Valley Opera Festival has been cancelled. The festival was scheduled to take place at the Lismore, County Waterford on May 26 through June 1.


Jennifer Smith, Polly Graham and Martin Graham sent out a message stating, “It is with a heavy heart that, due to Government recommendations surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, Longborough Festival Opera will not proceed with the 2020 season. This affects all performances.” The festival was supposed to begin on June 4. The festival will be offering all ticket holders a full refund.


The Bampton Opera has canceled its July and August performances. The company stated, “We are cautiously optimistic about being able to give a concert performance at St John’s Smith Square in London on 18 September.”

The Spoleto Festival has canceled it 2020 festival scheduled from May 22 through June 7.


The Ojai Music Festival has canceled its 74th edition, which was scheduled for June 11-14, 2020.

The Sydney Eisteddfod has also been canceled. “We take the health and safety of our entrants, their parents and teachers, our valued sponsors and our loyal audience members very seriously”, says Sydney Eisteddfod CEO, Piroozi Desai-Keane OAM, “and believe this cancellation is in the best interests of all concerned.”


The Aldeburgh Fesival 2020 has been canceled, the first time in the festival’s history that it has been canceled. “It is with enormous sadness that we have to cancel the 2020 Aldeburgh Festival. Given the current unprecedented circumstances, this will not be a surprise but, nonetheless, we know how disappointing it is for our audiences, friends and supporters and for the entire creative community which would have been involved in presenting the events we had planned in June,” Snape Maltings’ Chief Executive Roger Wright said in a press release.


The Edinburgh Festival has been canceled due to the Coronavirus outbreak.

The Santa Fe Opera released a statement noting “At this time, while we know this crisis is far from over, we feel it is too soon to predict the future of our 2020 season …. over the course of the next month, we will have greater clarity.”


The Festival de Música Antigua de los Pirineos has canceled its festival slated from July 3 through August 23.


The Darlington Music Summer School and Festival has canceled.

The Tanglewood Festival has released a message stating “I remain hopeful that we can have concerts at Tanglewood this summer. Naturally, the pandemic we are currently experiencing is unprecedented and unpredictable, and we will certainly follow guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and our government leaders. The health, safety, and wellbeing of our audiences, neighbors, players, and staff is our foremost concern. Yet, we will try the best we can to be a presence in the Berkshires in every way possible this summer.

We have heard from a considerable number of our friends in the Berkshires, including the many businesses in the area that rely on summer tourism, asking when we will make our ultimate determination on what this summer will bring. The honest answer is that we have not set a definitive timetable for this. Because of the uncertain nature of the epidemic, we are considering many options for the Tanglewood season on a near-daily basis. We recognize the importance of Tanglewood and other cultural organizations to the Berkshire community, and we intend to remain in close contact with our partner organizations and businesses in the region to assess the situation and announce any news we may have.

Tanglewood is a complex operation with many distinct components, from the festival and popular artists to the Tanglewood Music Center, Tanglewood Learning Institute, and more. Though each is certainly connected, they are also in many ways independent, necessitating a multi-faceted approach to our decision-making. The financial implications of any decisions or changes are significant to the BSO and the Berkshires, so we are taking a careful and measured approach in our reasoning, while recognizing that we cannot predict the future of our world in the coming months.”