Following the decision of the Hungarian Government, in accordance with WHO guidelines issued in response to the global health emergency, this year’s Budapest Spring Festival, the 40th instalment of the event series, will be cancelled. The organizers will do their utmost, however, to show, at a later time, as many as possible of the productions that were to be part of the anniversary edition of what is one of the most important festivals of the arts in the region.
“The safety and health of the viewers, the artists and the outstanding professionals who work in the background, are paramount. This is a time for unity, for paying attention to each other. We are very grateful for the support and encouragement we have received from our audience and the artists during what have been trying weeks for us all. The Budapest Spring Festival is always realised in collaboration with the city’s leading cultural institutions and venues, as well as with international partner institutions and companies, so working out the protocol for the present and future of the Festival took, and will take, careful coordination, often across borders,” says Csaba Káel, CEO of Müpa Budapest, the principal organizer of the festival. The only responsible thing to do, he points out, is to cancel the April presentation of over 100 events.
The 17-day festival relies on years of work, a great deal of preparation, administration and artistic creativity: for four decades, the festival’s success has depended on the commitment and tireless work of artists, experts and background staff. “We believe that when this emergency is behind us, when we have overcome this pandemic, the world will be even more appreciative of personal experiences, works of art that relate our shared stories, our tragedies and successes; until then, our responsibility is to look after and support each other, preparing for what is uppermost in all our minds: to recommence or start anew,” says Csaba Káel.
“Budapest is a diverse, thrilling and creative city. And these are also the attributes of the programme we planned for the Spring Festival. Unfortunately, we cannot present it to our audience,” says Csaba Faix, MD of the Budapest Festival and Tourism Centre, the co-organizer of the festival. “This spring, the applause is not from audiences to the performers, but from those who stand in their windows, to health workers and all those who do so much for us, for the city. We must thank them! And naturally, our gratitude also goes to all those colleagues who worked on this festival,” he added.
Under these extraordinary circumstances, the organizers will make every effort to keep the audience of the Budapest Spring Festival informed about the cancelled events. Tickets will be refunded via the Festival’s website, and details on how this can be done will soon be posted on www.btf.hu.