Coronavirus scare could derail Cape Town International Jazz Festival

Renowned jazz pianist Abdullah Ibrahim has pulled out of the Cape Town jazz festival because of coronavirus.
Renowned jazz pianist Abdullah Ibrahim has pulled out of the Cape Town jazz festival because of coronavirus.
Image: Veli Nhlapho

It’s the largest music event on the annual calendar in Sub-Saharan Africa - but this year’s staging of the Cape Town International Jazz Festival is hanging in the balance.

This is because Covid-19 has strengthened its grip in SA, where 17 positive cases had been confirmed by Thursday.

Instructions and advice from government officials are now expected  for all large events scheduled to take place in the country, while around the globe major sporting events are being cancelled (or played with no spectators allowed) and conferences cancelled.

Tracy Jones, speaking on behalf of the festival, told SowetanLIVE's sister publication TimesLIVE on Thursday: “The Cape Town International Jazz Festival managers are taking coronavirus very seriously and continue to monitor local and international developments.”

She said the festival was in contact with the national health department and the National Institute for Communicable Diseases “and we're awaiting further instructions”.

She added: “Our primary concern is the health and safety of festinos, artists and staff, and we're working with the government to ensure the best way forward regarding this year’s event.” 

Celebrated maestro Abdullah Ibrahim cancelled his performance at the event earlier this week, citing Covid-19.


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