Lorient Interceltic Festival Cancelled and Will Celebrate the Year of Brittany and its 50th anniversary in 2021

The French government have banned all gatherings of more than 5,000 people until September and the Lorient Festival Interceltique, the world’s biggest celtic music festival, has had to be cancelled for 2020, it was announced this morning.

Lorient had hoped to buck the trend of summer cancellations afflicting the piping and music worlds. Only a couple of weekes ago they were still hopeful of staging the festival.

In a statement, Festival Chairman Lisardo Lombardia said: ‘The organization’s board of direction has gathered this Thursday 30th April and, two days after the Prime Minister announcement delivered in front of the Nation Assembly and indicating that ‘major sport and cultural events, especially festivals, major trade fairs, all events with more than 5,000 participants, which are subject of a declaration to the prefecture and must be organised in advance, cannot be held before September’.

Therefore, the 2020 edition of the Interceltic Festival cannot be maintained. 2020 should have been a great moment, the celebration of the year of Brittany and the 50th anniversary of the Festival. Due to the COVID-19 epidemic, it will not be this way.

Thus, the Lorient Interceltic Festival will celebrate the year of Brittany and its 50th anniversary from the 6th to the 15th August 2021. We hope that it is going to be a great popular celebration, where everyone will be able to celebrate the beauty and diversity of Celtic cultures.The Festival would like to express its gratitude to all the artistic, institutional and economic players who have mobilized to make 2020 a major interceltic year.

The Festival also thanks all its volunteers and employees who were already hard-working to prepare the half-century edition.Their efforts will not be in vain. The great majority of the artists planned for this year have confirmed their willingness to join us next year to celebrate the year of Brittany and half a century of contemporary intercelticism.

Thus, during the coming months and according to the evolution of sanitary constraints, we will be able to serenely build a program similar to the one of 2020. The Festival hopes that, once the crisis over, everyone will be there to make 2021 a memorable year.We are aware that the decision to postpone the programme to 2021 will have an important impact on the cultural economy (artists, employees, casual workers, production companies), and the touristic economy (accommodation, catering, leisure, transport). According to the 2017 AUDELOR survey, it is 23M€ of expenditure, and therefore revenue, that will not be realised this year.

We know the cultural, societal and economic role the Festival plays in Brittany and we measure the weight of the decision to postpone to 2021. But as a responsible organization, we endorse the government’s decision about large gatherings.We also believe that the health (hospitals, civil security, emergency doctors…) and security workers (law enforcement agencies, armies), whose dedication during this difficult period is universally welcomed, will need some well-deserved rest after those several demanding months.The Festival organization does not want to endanger the health of the more than 1,700 volunteers, the permanent contract and intermittent employees, the hundreds of thousands of festival-goers and all the rest of the population, not forgetting our friends from Celtic countries.

We must, at any costs, avoid a resurgence of the epidemic.However, the Lorient Interceltic Festival postponement to 2021 will mean a negative balance in 2020, despite the upholding of public subventions and donations from patrons, that we would like to sincerely thank. In 2020, the Festival is going to suffer from a financial loss of 0.2 to 0.3 million euros after several positive financial years. This is therefore a financial hard blow for the Festival.The Festival would have loved to warm everyone’s heart, to give desire, dream and light to the hundreds of thousands of visitors and spectators by offering them this wonderful edition.

A great amount of artists and groups, the Sonerion, War’l Leur and Kendalc’h federations would have offered them unforgettable moments. It has become impossible.Nevertheless, the Festival wishes to let all those who were waiting for this unique moment discover the 2020 programme that they should have had. They will thus know the diversity and freshness of a programme that would not have disappointed them. They will soon be able to discover it on the Festival website. They will still be able to dream.

TICKET INFO: We would like to reassure those who have bought tickets during Christmas and New Year’s celebrations for the 2020 edition of the Lorient Interceltic Festival. All bought tickets are automatically carried over to the 2021 edition. You won’t have to do anything.
However, if you wish to get a refund, we will set up a refund platform which will be accessible from Monday 4th May on our website. You will soon receive an email giving you the details about refund and report.To all those who believe in the Inter-Celtic Festival, its promotion of Brittany and Celtic cultures, its values and the happiness it brings, we look forward to seeing you on 6 August 2021!

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