THE Ludlow Fringe Festival will not take place this year.

Ludlow’s annual summer celebration of the arts has become the latest victim of Covid-19.

The cancellation comes as a bitter blow to the town as it not only provides two weeks of music, comedy and other arts but also brings many people into Ludlow

A statement issued in behalf of the Fringe said that the decision has been made on the basis of advice that has been given by Government.

The Festival issued a statement explaining the decision:

‘We have been closely listening to the Government’s advice and recommendations on the containment of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) and have come to the very difficult and sad decision to cancel all our events for Ludlow Fringe Festival 2020. The community is at the heart of all our work and the safety of our staff, audience, performers, venues and volunteers is top priority.

‘We hope to deliver some great events for you later in the year when the crisis is over and will publish events on our website as and when they are able to happen. It is going to be a difficult time for everyone in the creative industries and we look forward to your support in the future.’

The Fringe Festival was due to take place in the summer between June 20 and July 5.

It took over from the main Ludlow Arts Festival when that folded because it was no longer financially viable.

This was because the old-style festival had been based around a large scale Shakespeare production staged in the grounds of Ludlow Castle.

This proved to be highly expensive and was very vulnerable to bad weather with poor ticket sales and loss of a large amount of money in one year when torrential rain resulted in the cancellation of shows.

The Fringe has been very different although the tradition of performing Shakespeare has been continued in smaller venues.

A guiding ethos has been arts for all, and the Fringe has had a policy of capping ticket prices so that as large a section of the community as possible could be involved.

There have also been many free events in which people have been encouraged to take part.

The Fringe has also used many venues around the town including the Assembly Rooms, Ludlow Brewery and pubs including the Blue Boar.

This has brought valuable money into businesses throughout Ludlow.

St Laurence Church has also been involved in staging events during the festival.