Wednesday, 06 July 2022

Henley Living Advent Calendar 2020 cancelled

Henley Living Advent Calendar 2020 cancelled

THE 2020 edition of the Henley Living Advent Calendar has been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Organisers say they have made the decision due to the need to respect social distancing and the possibility of a second wave of the virus in the winter.

This would have been the 10th year of the living advent, which features 24 evenings of entertainment at a range of venues across the town from December 1 to Christmas Eve.

Organiser Richard Rodway said: “We suspect that this news will not come as much of a surprise, but it is with much regret that we have made the difficult decision not to proceed with the event this year.

“As it stands, amid current social distancing restrictions, we are unable to stage the event and we do not anticipate that the situation will change sufficiently by December.

“Indeed, the situation may well become more problematic, as winter kicks in and we face the real risk of a second wave.

“The health and safety of everyone involved, the performers, volunteers across all of the nights, attending public and of course our Living Advent team has to be our primary concern.”

Last year saw £7,369 raised for a number of charities, easily surpassing the previous record of £5,860 in 2017.

The charities to benefit from the performances included NOMAD, Sue Ryder, Henley Music School and Headway Thames Valley.

Mr Rodway said consideration had been given to an online version of the event, but he was not convinced it would work.

He added: “We hope you will agree that the essence of the Living Advent is all about the first-hand and direct collaborative experience, coming together and interaction on the night.

“An online Living Advent is not without its own issues and would not come close to the look and feel of what the event is all about.

“We therefore hope to return in 2021 in the matter to which we have become accustomed and we hope we can all come together again then for an extra special joyous festive celebration.

“In the meantime, we feel sure that we will all take whatever opportunities we can to spread some festive cheer around the town this December.”

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