Sunday, 29 March 2020 Contact us

Postponement of Oxford Literary Festival

Postponement of Oxford Literary Festival

Dear Friend

It is with a heavy heart that we have taken the decision to postpone this year’s 2020 festival.  It is the only and right thing to do in the light of continued concern and uncertainty about the spread of the coronavirus.

Our foremost concern is that the festival does not put at risk the health of yourselves – our visitors – our authors, sponsor partners, festival staff and volunteers, and university and college personnel hosting our events in their venues.

The Oxford Literary Festival is one of the world’s most prestigious, with 28,000 ticket holders attending and 450 writers speaking over nine days.  For many of you who have been so generous to support our festival over a number of years (this year was to showcase our 24th festival) you’ll be familiar with its style and content. Featuring discussion and talk of literary subjects and the concerns of our time by some of the greatest writers and influential thinkers of our age, the festival has been a platform for education, debate of ideas and free speech.  No doubt an analysis of our current circumstances will form part of future festivals.

I know this postponement of our events will not come as a complete surprise, and I am sorry for any disappointment or change of plans this will cause. We are deeply committed to the future success of the festival, and a good part of what we had scheduled we plan to carry over until later this year or next year. I hope that you will appreciate that we will need to assess options when we are in a better position to do so.

We very much appreciate all the tremendous encouragement that you have given, and hope we can continue to rely on it.

Because we could not be covered by insurance for this kind of eventuality and because we are a self-funding charity not making a profit, we would like if at all possible to treat any ticket sales as a donation.

However, we will treat ticket sales as a credit for future festival events if requested. Unfortunately, we are unable to refund at this stage. We will be back in touch by the end of May to explain how you can make your donation of your ticket or claim your credit.

Next year will mark our 25th anniversary, and I very much hope that by then we will lay on a wonderful programme of events we all can enjoy and be proud of.

Our website will be updated to carry more questions and answers as we receive further information.

We send our warm wishes to you all for your good health and that of your families.

Best wishes

Sally

Sally Dunsmore
Festival director

FT Weekend Title partner BBC World Service International radio partner Oxford Martin School Festival ideas partner Bodleian Libraries Festival cultural partner University of Oxford New College Jewish Book Week Partner of Jewish programme Italian Embassy Supporter of Italian programme Irish Embassy, London Supporters of the Irish programme MIT Press MIT Press. Sponsors of the programme of American literature and culture The Dorchester Hotels Collection Festival London hotel partner Blackwell’s Festival on-site and online bookseller Princeton University Press British Academy Festival academic partner Ian and Carol Sellars Emily Rose and James Marrow Lady Hatch Patron donor for the programme of Irish literature and culture George Warren Mary and Cecil Quillen Worcester College Worcester College Lincoln College Lincoln College St Hilda’s College 11th St Hilda's day at the festival St Cross College St Cross College: Festival college partner. All facilities generously donated to the festival The Feathers Hotel Woodstock Macdonald Bear Hotel Woodstock Critchleys HM Government of Gibraltar Festival green room sponsor Felicity Bryan Associates Conference Oxford Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies University of Oxford Alumni Office Alumni Office Said Business School Bear Ram Elk Festival Digital Strategy & Web Design BBC Radio Oxford Local radio partner The Oxford Times Regional media partner Oxford Brookes University Oxford University Images Oxford University Images The Sheldonian Theatre Floris of London City Audio Visual Schoolreaders The Litmus Partnership K T Bruce Photography K T Bruce Photography OX magazine History of War All About History Glyndebourne Chamberlain Evans Estate agents Ironbridge Gorge Museums Foodbuy Chêne Bleu Frescobaldi Toscana Wines of Tuscany Symington Wines of the Douro Valley Sloane Club Steer Oxford Botanic Garden Cinnamon Kitchen Compassion in World Farming The Wild Geese Nicholas Hunter Ltd

FT Weekend Oxford Literary Festival sponsors, donors & partners

FT Weekend Title partner BBC World Service International radio partner Oxford Martin School Festival ideas partner Bodleian Libraries Festival cultural partner University of Oxford New College Jewish Book Week Partner of Jewish programme Italian Embassy Supporter of Italian programme Irish Embassy, London Supporters of the Irish programme MIT Press MIT Press. Sponsors of the programme of American literature and culture The Dorchester Hotels Collection Festival London hotel partner Blackwell’s Festival on-site and online bookseller Princeton University Press British Academy Festival academic partner Ian and Carol Sellars Emily Rose and James Marrow Lady Hatch Patron donor for the programme of Irish literature and culture George Warren Mary and Cecil Quillen Worcester College Worcester College Lincoln College Lincoln College St Hilda’s College 11th St Hilda's day at the festival St Cross College St Cross College: Festival college partner. All facilities generously donated to the festival The Feathers Hotel Woodstock Macdonald Bear Hotel Woodstock Critchleys HM Government of Gibraltar Festival green room sponsor Felicity Bryan Associates Conference Oxford Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies University of Oxford Alumni Office Alumni Office Said Business School Bear Ram Elk Festival Digital Strategy & Web Design BBC Radio Oxford Local radio partner The Oxford Times Regional media partner Oxford Brookes University Oxford University Images Oxford University Images The Sheldonian Theatre Floris of London City Audio Visual Schoolreaders The Litmus Partnership K T Bruce Photography K T Bruce Photography OX magazine History of War All About History Glyndebourne Chamberlain Evans Estate agents Ironbridge Gorge Museums Foodbuy Chêne Bleu Frescobaldi Toscana Wines of Tuscany Symington Wines of the Douro Valley Sloane Club Steer Oxford Botanic Garden Cinnamon Kitchen Compassion in World Farming The Wild Geese Nicholas Hunter Ltd