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2020 Britt Festival Orchestra Season Update in Light of Ongoing Coronavirus Pandemic

Published: April 17, 2020

After careful consideration, Britt Music & Arts Festival’s Board of Directors, staff, and musicians of the Britt Orchestra Committee have agreed the 2020 BFO Season cannot proceed as we had planned. All previously scheduled performances between July 31 – August 16, 2020 have been canceled. The Britt staff and BFO musicians will explore a variety of alternative possibilities to keep the magic of our orchestra alive in the southern Oregon community, ranging from virtual concerts to smaller, more intimate performances by members of our BFO as conditions permit.

The decision to cancel the previously scheduled performances was not made lightly, and comes with the health and well-being of the southern Oregon community, our orchestra musicians, and our host families in mind. Over ninety members of the BFO travel from all over the world to share their music at Britt. Given the guidance provided by international, national, and regional health organizations to restrict travel as much as possible, we are committed to do our part to minimize the risk of an outbreak that could endanger the health of our community. 

For those who have purchased tickets to the 2020 Britt Festival Orchestra, the value of your tickets will be credited to your Britt account by default if you do not request a donation or refund option. We ask you to consider a tax-deductible donation of the value of your tickets to the Britt Festival Orchestra, which will help to ensure the future of the BFO. Alternatively, you may use the value of 2020 tickets toward 2021 Festival ticket purchases, or we will issue refunds. Please email or call our Box Office (see contact numbers below) for assistance. We expect a large volume of calls, and thank you for your patience as we navigate this challenging time.  Refund requests must be made by June 12, 2020.

Q: Why was it necessary to cancel the BFO season this year?

The uncertainty around the spread of the virus and the duration of the pandemic is simply unknown at this time and likely will remain so for the foreseeable future.  With the unpredictable nature of the current COVID-19 pandemic, Britt’s staff, Board, and musicians all agreed that it was not worth the risk of causing an outbreak in the southern Oregon community. Given the demographics of both our audience and host families, we also agreed the risk was too high for an at-risk community to contract the virus.

The BFO requires in-person, on-site collaboration this spring and early summer.  Given the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, this pre-season work is not possible.

Q: Will the same performers originally scheduled for this year appear during the 2021 Festival?

Though we are still working out plans for the 2021 BFO season, we intend to offer all artists booked for 2020 the opportunity to return next season. That said, we cannot make any guarantees, as artist schedules are often determined over a year in advance.

One project that will definitely take place in 2021 is Hiking the Woodlands with the BFO, wherein the BFO will premiere Caroline Shaw’s new experiential, site-specific work on the Jacksonville Woodland Trails.

Q: What about the tickets I’ve already purchased?

All purchases will be credited to your Britt account after June 12 if a donation or refund option has not been requested. You can use this credit for future ticket purchases at Britt this season or in the future. The credit will not expire. Alternatively, you can contact the box office to convert your credit to a donation to Britt’s Classical Annual Fund, which directly supports the operations of the BFO for the future, or ask for a refund. You can reach our box office at or by calling 541-773-6077.

Q: What can I do to help?

The most important thing any of us can do right now is follow the guidelines provided by the CDC and your state health departments, including staying home, avoiding crowds, wearing a mask when in public, washing your hands, and self-isolating if you have the slightest of symptoms. 

If you are in a position to do so, please consider donating to the Britt Classical Annual Fund. This will help us immensely in securing the future of the BFO as a staple of the southern Oregon cultural community. 

Inspired by its intimate and scenic hillside venue, Britt Music & Arts Festival provides diverse live performances, an incomparable orchestra season and dynamic education programs that create a sense of discovery and community. Since its grassroots beginnings in 1963, the non-profit organization has grown from a two-week chamber music festival to a summer-long series of concerts in a variety of genres, including a three-week orchestra season, and year-round education and engagement programs. For more information, visit