Wetherby Arts Festival to head outdoors

Wetherby Festival is taking a new course in 2021 because of the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Wednesday, 31st March 2021, 11:05 am
Flashback to 2013 when Gareth Gates played Wetherby Arts Festival.

Wetherby Festival is taking a new course in 2021 because of the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Organisers this week announced that because it is difficult to predict possible further waves of the virus in the autumn, it is planning alternatives.

“A traditional indoor October Festival might still be potentially problematic in 2021, so we are planning an open-air event in warmer weather,” said Chariman Robert Haskins.

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“We are therefore aiming for a Festival weekend right at the end of the Summer holidays – 3rd 4th and 5th September. A lovely way to finish.

“Details of acts and venues have still to be finalised but we are planning concerts, performances and shows in the afternoons along with ancillary activities in which we hope you may also participate.

“People are also talking about a craft fair, and will there be other activities, large and small, going on as well? Let’s hope so.”

Mr Haskins also urged people to come forward with suggestions for the festival.

“So far, we have prospects for a dance event, a comedy drama, even a reprise of our Opera with Chips event – outside!

“We are also working with Leeds orchestra and we have other ideas too.

“I expect people are hoping, as we are, that we can revert to normal in 2022.

“Acts that were cancelled in 2020 are hoping to return and people will be queuing up for their performances. Let’s see how this one goes.”

And he added “Thanks to everyone who has stayed with us and supported us through a difficult period, whether by renewing your membership, joining our quizzes or helping us plan the future.”

This year is the 44th Wetherby Arts Festival, which was started in 1977 when the vicar of the time, Rev Jonathan Bailey, got together 40 organisations who came up with the festival of arts idea.

It has since played host to stars such as Stéphane Grappelli, Humphrey Littleton, Gareth Gates, Roger McGough, Julian Lloyd Webber and comics fresh from the Edinburgh Fringe such as Tom Wrigglesworth.