Cape Town jazz festival put on ice after coronavirus concerns

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

Popular Cape Town International Jazz Festival has been postponed indefinitely due to a coronavirus scare.

Festival organisers espAfrika announced on Friday evening that the jazz event, which was scheduled to be staged towards the end of this month, would be deferred to a later date as a precautionary measure.

"In light of growing concerns around the spread of coronavirus, espAfrika a member of Sekunjalo Group, regrets to inform the public that this year’s Cape Town International Jazz Festival will be postponed for the foreseeable future, as a public health precautionary measure," said the company in a media statement.

"The Festival was scheduled to take place on 27 and 28 March 2020 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC).

The postponement comes after renowned jazz maestro Abdullah Ibrahim cancelled his performance at the event earlier this week, citing Covid-19 concerns.

"The postponement is in the best interest of the public and supports efforts to stem the spread of Coronavirus, which has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization.

The festival director Billy Domingo said: "This has been a difficult decision and one we have not made lightly. As a flagship event for South Africa, with over 40,000 local and international attendees,  we are committed to acting in the best interest of our loyal Festinos, performing artists, service providers, employees and the public at large.

“After 20 years of bringing some of the top local and international artists to the Mother City, we are deeply disappointed to postpone this year’s event at such late notice. "However, protecting the health of the public is the most responsible course of action at this time. We apologise for any inconvenience and will assist our loyal Festinos to navigate the refund process in order to make it as seamless as possible.”

For queries on ticket refunds members of the public should consult the festival's website.

For refunds on Hospitality Packages, contact the espAfrika hotline on 021 671 0506 or email hospitality@espafrika.com.

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