Photo: Thor Brødreskift

Planned 2020 Festival cancelled

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April 07, 2020

The 2020 edition of the Bergen International Festival will not be held as planned, and the Festival is now working towards an alternative festival.

The Board of Directors of the Bergen International Festival has decided that this year’s Festival will not go ahead as planned. According to plan, the Festival should have begun Wednesday 20 May. Tuesday 07 April the government banned all culture and sports events until 15 June because of the corona virus. The same day, the City of Bergen recommended that the festivals this spring should be cancelled.

'Because of the government’s ban and the city’s recommendation, the board has now decided that this year’s Festival has to find another form. We are very sorry that this year’s programme cannot go ahead as planned, but we must of course also do our part. Now we must try to look ahead', says Chair of the Board Thorhild Widvey.

Working with other cultural organisations in Norway, the Festival is planning an alternative festival in the timeframe of the original festival.

'We are many who have been looking forward to concerts and performances at this year’s Festival and we hoped till the very end that the situation would improve. Now we need to leave this disappointment behind, in order to work towards good alternatives in the current situation,' says Festival Director Anders Beyer.

The Bergen International Festival in its original form is now cancelled, but the work continues to realize alternatives and solutions for events on this year’s programme.

'We are in dialogue with the artists on the programme and are trying to find solutions where we can. Concerts and performances can be postponed or find another form,' says the Festival Director.

The programme for the alternative Festival is being planned and will be launched later in April. Changing circumstances can also mean that there will be programme changes until the event itself.

Everyone who has bought tickets for events at this year’s Festival will be contacted as soon as possible to get their refund. The work with refunds will begin right after Easter. More information will be published at

The first ever Bergen International Festival took place in 1953. It is the first time in history that an edition of the Festival in Bergen has had to be cancelled.

'But we will be back with more music, more theatre, more dance, more life! Until then, take care of each other,' says Beyer.  

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