Edinburgh International Harp Festival cancelled over coronavirus fears

Venue Merchiston Castle School has cancelled this year’s event.

A popular Edinburgh music festival has been cancelled just a month before it was due to be staged over coronavirus fears in the Capital.

Edinburgh International Harp Festival released a statement on their website saying it is “with deep regret” they have put a stop the event after the venue, Merchiston Castle School, raised concerns over the current outbreak of the COVID-19 virus.

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The festival, which included a range of styles of music including classical and jazz, was set to run from April 3 to April 8.

Organisers have asked for patience from ticket holders as administration teams begin the process of contacting them, while anyone who booked on-site accommodation is asked to email the venue.

On their website, the statement reads: “It is with deep regret (due to circumstances beyond our control) that we announce that the 2020 Edinburgh International Harp Festival has been cancelled, by Merchiston Castle School, due to their concerns about the COVID-19 virus.

“Our administration team will begin contacting ticket holders, for all our events, tomorrow. We ask you kindly for your patience in this.

“If you have booked accommodation at Merchiston, please email the school’s events team on [email protected]

Edinburgh International Harp Festival cancelled over coronavirus fears

“We are deeply saddened that we won’t see you this year, but rest assured, we will be back!”

The 2020 event was set to be the festival’s 39th anniversary.

Three more cases of coronavirus were confirmed in Scotland on Thursday 5 March, bringing the total number of cases in the country to six. There are now 115 cases confirmed across the UK, and there has been one fatality.

Globally, more than 90,000 people have been infected with Covid-19 and there have been more than 3,000 fatalities.

A spokesman for Merchiston Castle School said: “Having examined the latest official guidance from Public Health Scotland and other bodies, we carried out a risk assessment into our forthcoming residential lets.

“Regrettably, it became clear we would be forced to cancel two proposed events involving attendees from numerous overseas countries, including Italy.

“We share the disappointment of the event organisers, but we have a clear and overriding duty to ensure the health of pupils and staff is safeguarded, particularly with important examinations coming up after Easter.”