Harrogate International Festivals has announced the cancellation of the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival owing to the coronavirus pandemic.
The crime writing festival had been due to take place from 23rd to 26th July, with Martina Cole, Mick Herron and Kathy Reichs among its many speakers.
The rest of Harrogate's summer season, including Harrogate Music Festival, Spiegeltent and Children's Festival, as well as several outdoor theatre and community events, have also been cancelled.
The decision was made after considering a number of factors, but most importantly the health and safety of the audience, artists, suppliers, partners, volunteers, staff and the wider community, Harrogate International Festivals said.
The organisers said: "Many months of dedicated work went into planning this exceptional season and we share in the disappointment that will be felt by the many writers, musicians, thinkers, performers and festival-goers who were set to join us in Harrogate.
"As a not-for-profit arts charity, we are reliant on our events programme and ticket income, alongside sponsor support and donor philanthropy, and so the cancellation of our main season has huge financial implications that place the future of our festivals at risk. But despite the unprecedented challenge we now face, our mission to bring immersive and moving cultural experiences to as many people as possible remains unchanged.
"We will continue our unparalleled celebration of crime fiction with the prestigious Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year 2020, alongside an extensive online offering of author interviews and much more ahead of the announcement in July."
The festival has also launched HIF Player, to enable everyone to have a festival experience in the comfort of their own homes. The online hub is free and contains archive event recordings, digital book clubs and learning resources for children.
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