Royston Arts Festival 2020 to go ahead online, agrees committee

Last year's Royston Arts Festival finale concert. Picture: Terry Hartga

Last year's Royston Arts Festival finale concert. Picture: Terry Hartga - Credit: Archant

The biggest event in Royston’s calendar won’t go ahead as normal this year due to coronavirus – but there is a chance a live event could go ahead as lockdown restrictions ease.

The Creative Royston Management Committee – the team behind Royston Arts Festival –held a meeting over video conferencing site Zoom to decide how the 2020 event would go ahead.

It was decided it would be better to plan to hold an online festival – but also be ready to take advantage of any opportunity that arose to stage a live event or two.

The decision was based on several reasons including the continuing uncertainty over the nature of social distancing that will be operating when the festival takes place in September and how this will affect the venues that might have taken part. This was partly the reason why the Royston Fringe, staged by the Methodist Church in Queens Road, felt they would have to withdraw from the festival – the other reason being a concern for the risk to their helpers, some of whom are quite elderly.

Creative Royston chairperson Carl Filby is confident that a mainly online festival, though very different, could be a success and was encouraged by his involvement in Royston Arts Society’s current online members exhibition.

As their website administrator he was responsible for putting together the exhibition and given the favourable feedback Carl believes that this could act as a prototype for some online festival events.

The Art Society’s Autumn Exhibition is always one of the major attractions of the festival and plans are already afoot to stage that exhibition online.

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The festival committee already has a number of ideas and is developing plans for an online festival but Carl would welcome any other suggestions to be sent to him using the email

Ongoing plans for and news about the festival will be published on the website

You can also find out the latest on their Facebook page – just search ‘Royston Ats Festival’ on the social media site.