An international music festival has been cancelled as part of the ongoing national effort to reduce the spread of Coronavirus.

Durham BRASS was due to take place across County Durham this summer, with ten days of live gigs, open air concerts, street parties and school performances set to entertain people of all ages between 10 and 19 July.

Organiser Durham County Council has been closely following Government guidelines in response to the pandemic and is regularly reviewing its 2020 festival and events programme as the situation evolves.

This week, the local authority made the regrettable but necessary decision to cancel BRASS. The decision follows the cancellation of a number of other council-run events, including Bishop Auckland Food Festival, Durham Adventure Festival and Seaham Food Festival.

Last year, more than 40,000 people experienced Durham BRASS, boosting the county’s economy by hundreds of thousands of pounds and introducing new audiences to 21st century brass music from around the world.

Cllr Joy Allen, the council’s Cabinet member for transformation, culture and tourism, said: “BRASS has been delighting audiences of all ages for more than a decade and has helped put County Durham on the cultural map, so we are sorry it can not go ahead this year.

“It is vital we follow the Government’s social distancing guidelines and our main priority is the health our communities, visitors, musicians, partners, sponsors, festival staff, and volunteers.

“BRASS is all about bringing people together, both in terms of our international line up of musicians and our wonderful Big Brass Bash parties. Sadly, this is just not possible this year. However, we know how uplifting music can be, especially during difficult times like these, and we will continue to spread the joy of BRASS through our social media channels until we can all get together again.”

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