It is with a heavy heart that the team and I have taken the decision not to proceed with this year’s Surbiton Salons in light of the COVID-19 situation. It is a time of great uncertainty, and whilst restrictions may be relaxed by July we have no idea what that will look like and how it will impact our festival. The safety and wellbeing of our audience is paramount and we take this very seriously.
From a practical standpoint social distancing measures would mean we would have to reduce events’ capacity and consequently lose some of the benefits of our friendly and intimate events. We are also losing valuable time to publicise the festival as our main distribution locations are currently closed for the foreseeable future. These factors mean that we will struggle to reach the audiences we want to reach and provide a worthwhile experience for those attending, not to mention the potential financial implications to us.
I realise that this will come as a disappointment to many of you and I am sorry we have had to make this decision. We would have loved the festival to be a little ray of sunshine for our local community but in order to protect that community we cannot proceed as planned. Our obligation to our audience is not only in providing joy, but in keeping them safe during these times.
Every cloud has a silver lining, however. We are now able to focus on securing the programme for next year. This will mean we are ahead of the game in terms of organising and fundraising, which will put us in an excellent position to be able to bring you bigger and better editions in the years to follow.
We are also looking into bringing back the Christmas Salon and an online version of the Summer Salons 2020, details of which will be shared here when we have more details.
The team and I are so, so grateful for the continued support of our patrons, and want to reassure you we have every intention of forging ahead with plans for the next year and the future.
For now, please stay safe and well, and we look forward to seeing you when we can.