The Three Choirs Festival says it plans to “weather the storm” created by the coronavirus crisis, and in a spirit of optimism it has announced the programme for this summer.

The position of the festival organisers, as they plan for the 293rd celebration, is that they will "continue to plan for the event to take place until such time as it is impossible to do so".

The festival is set to take place in and around Worcester from Saturday July 25 to Saturday August 1, and festival organisers say that they remain "optimistic that the festival can go ahead".

They will put tickets on sale in April as planned.

The festival will be the first with new Worcester Artistic Director Samuel Hudson at the helm, who took up his post as Director of Music at Worcester Cathedral in September last year.

Somewhat ironically in the present climate of travel restrictions and uncertain futures, Samuel had taken journeys as a starting point for his programming.

He said: “Journey is an inevitable part of life. Some journeys we think nothing of, some we don’t even notice, but others are so significant and transformative that they shape our lives and our history. I’m thrilled my journey has brought me to Worcester, and it is my pleasure to introduce my first Three Choirs Festival programme. In 2020 the theme of voyage will be strong, not least as we mark the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower’s journey from England to the USA in 1620, taking the opportunity to feature music by American composers.”

The festival will feature over eighty events this year and around a thousand performers, " from major choral and orchestral events in Worcester’s majestic cathedral, to chamber music, late night jazz and musical explorations, fun-filled family events, sung cathedral services, intriguing talks and a peppering of al fresco theatre, walks and excursions spread throughout the county and beyond".

To view the full programme, visit Booking opens in April. at the ticket Office: 01452 768928.