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We wanted to update you as to where we are on what would be the beginning of L20.


Today is a poignant moment for us as organisers – that after 10 months of planning, collaboration, hard work and dedication, we are not able to bring together the brightest minds from Leeds and beyond into this city for an eclectic programme of talks, installations, performances and much more

It was with much sadness and disappointment that we made the tough decision to postpone L20 back in March due to COVID-19.

As a festival, our staff, delivery partners and audience and their safety are of the utmost importance to us.

We are all currently facing an unprecedented situation, completely out of all of our control. We see businesses large and small, supply chains and thousands of jobs at risk. This is something affecting each and every single one of us.

We have been working non-stop since last year to deliver what would have been the best Leeds International Festival yet. Over the last few weeks via an even smaller team than usual, as COVID-19 took over and the pandemic began, we had to go into lockdown with most of our staff furloughed.

We are committed to bringing Leeds International Festival back for the city, but we have to be sure of the safety of everyone involved. You the ticket-buying public, the speakers, the artists, the delivery partners and more. We want to deliver a bigger brighter festival, but also a safer festival under better circumstances which everyone is able to be part of and enjoy.

The Festival is a major project created and managed by LeedsBID and 90% funded by the businesses who support the BID to bring the event to the whole city and help project Leeds to the world. We are avid supporters of our event partners – this year working together with Bruntwood to establish the Creative Hub, and honoured to also have support from the LEP, Vastint, The Tetley, Weightmans and Leeds City Council. Many thanks to all our supporters/headline and festival partners.

We have focused solely since the date of postponement on resolving all outstanding payments to performers and artists up to that time. We are delighted to say currently we have managed to achieve this with the vast majority. Thank you to all those people for your patience and understanding during the pressures we have all felt over the last month. We continue to work positively and openly at reaching the same position with a few remaining event partners.

The current position is that the festival remains postponed as we continue to think about the future of L20 in light of the developing situation and official guidance and advice in relation to COVID-19. In addition, we continue to look at the direction taken by other national and international festivals while ensuring we act responsibly to event partners, supporters and audiences.

We appreciate people’s continued support and patience in bearing with us during these difficult times for everyone and we shall be looking to make further announcements as soon as we can.

Stay safe, look after each other and we hope to bring you some positive news soon!
Big thanks, Leeds International Festival

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