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Statement regarding cancellation of Leeds Black Music Festival due to coronavirus

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Due to the coronavirus pandemic, it is with great regret that unfortunately the Leeds Black Music Festival will not be taking place later this year at Potternewton Park.

The Leeds Black Music Festival traditionally takes place in Potternewton Park on August Bank Holiday Sunday. Since its inception, the Festival has offered a fantastic and free family fun day of entertainment, providing music from many genres which are performed by a host of internationally renowned and up-and coming artists on three different stages. Throughout the year the festival also supports a variety of local talent in Leeds, by providing mentoring opportunities in both lyrical writing and stage performance.

Each year, a panel of experts choose one of the artists to perform on the main stage of the Festival, which proves to be a fantastic experience for the young person as they develop their musical talent, build their portfolio and go onto other opportunities and platforms, such as MOBO Unsung. Accompanying each festival are a range of stalls offering food, crafts and clothing which are a big hit with visitors. Whilst organisers and Leeds City Council have expressed sadness at the decision to cancel the Black Music Festival, both have committed to ensuring that next year’s event is one of the very best yet.

Heather Nelson, CEO of the Black Health Initiative who organise the festival said:

It is with a sincere sense of responsibility that we have to announce the cancellation of the Black Music Festival 2020. We know this brings a disappointment to all those who continue to join us for our fantastic free festival, which has attracted growing crowds with each year that passes.

“Whilst we are very sad to therefore to announce this cancellation, with every cloud is a silver lining. Working within our culture arm Culturama (Leeds), we have several other events planned for the Autumn/Winter programme this year, from Gospel to a taste of the Caribbean, which promise to be fantastic.”

Councillor Judith Blake, Leeds City Council’s executive member for culture and economy said:

“We very much share the disappointment that unfortunately due to continued issues relating to coronavirus, the 2020 Black Music Festival at Potternewton Park in August has been cancelled.

“The Black Music Festival is an integral part of the celebrations that are held over August Bank Holiday Weekend. We are looking forward to working with organisers to ensure that next year’s event is one of the very best in its history.”

Source Leeds City Council