An update on Imagine Watford 2020 in light of COVID-19

An update on Imagine Watford 2020 in light of COVID-19

6 April 2020

Following careful consideration, and in light of the Prime Minister’s and Public Health England advice, Watford Palace Theatre and Watford Borough Council have taken the difficult decision to  cancel the borough’s very popular, outdoor performance festival,   Imagine Watford 2020.

Statement from Elected Mayor of Watford, Peter Taylor on behalf of Watford Cultural Leaders

“In Watford we are rightly proud of the range of wonderful cultural and entertainment events throughout the year. We are incredibly disappointed that Imagine Watford has had to be cancelled for 2020.  However, we recognise that these are exceptional circumstances. We have to put the health and safety of the public, including the artists who would have been performing in this year’s festival, first. We must protect our community, our most vulnerable and the NHS above all else."

“There will be a recovery and, at that time the arts, entertainment and culture, in their many guises, will play a vital part in rebuilding our confidence and enthusiasm for life.  Imagine Watford 2021 will allow us to join together to celebrate spectacular outdoor performances and we will very much welcome the opportunity to showcase Watford and some of the world’s top performance artists next year.”

The borough has already started working on this cultural based route to recovery, with the launch of #WatfordTogether partnership. This innovative approach brings together Watford’s creative leaders and organisations who are combining their talents and experience to support the community through the immediate crisis and into recovery.

Statement from Brigid Larmour, Artistic Director & Chief Executive of Watford Palace Theatre

“We are very sad that the current situation makes it impossible to go ahead with the incredible festival of international and local artists we had lined up for Imagine Watford this June‎.  But we're already looking ahead to joining everyone back out on our streets for Imagine 2021.   Meanwhile we’re proud to be part of #WatfordTogether, Watford Borough Council’s brilliant initiative to share cultural projects across the town online, until we can all come together again face to face.”

Festival Background

In 2011 Watford Borough Council and Watford Palace Theatre initiated Imagine Watford. It was the first major collaboration of the Watford Cultural Leaders Group: Arts Council England, Watford Borough Council, Watford Palace Theatre, West Herts College, Warner Bros. Studios, Watford Colosseum, Watford for You, BBC Concert Orchestra, Hertfordshire County Council and Watford Football Club. The Festival helped to transform perceptions of the town, kick-starting a process of partnership working between Watford’s cultural organisations, driving forward a broader agenda of cultural renewal.

For more information on #WatfordTogether visit: www.watfordtogether.co.uk