Manchester’s Hope Mill Theatre is postponing the January Turn On Fest due to lockdown restrictions.
Turn On Fest 2021 will be the second edition of an arts festival that gives centre stage to LGBTQ+ productions and artists.
Joseph Houston, founder & artistic director of the Hope Mill, said “you create these opportunities for artists, their companies, for emerging writers and directors because in the Queer community there isn’t a lot of them.”
The two-week arts event results from a collaboration of the Hope Mill theatre with Superbia, Manchester Pride’s programme of arts and culture.
Rather than taking the event fully online, Hope Mill will instead be downsizing the festival to make it COVID-19 safe.
Explaining the decision, Houston said “we are a theatre venue; we fully promote live art and how art is experienced in a live setting. Some things work online and some things don’t.
“Giving this news to artists is always the hardest thing. However, they’ve all been so supportive of our decision and they understand this out of our control. We’ll continue to support them with mentorship, rehearsal space and the development grants.”
Regarding a new date, Houston explained that “we’re looking at the end of March but nothing set in stone yet.”
Ticket-holders are expected to be soon contacted by the box office. Houston added that Hope Mill will likely offer refunds to audience members and encourage them to book again when a new date is confirmed.
Words by Natacha Pires.
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