“The arts will remain alive. There are a thousand golden threads woven through this year’s programme and we will find a way to sharing them,” Dr Michelle Castelletti, Director of Oxford Festival of the Arts, told us this week, as it becomes increasingly likely that this year’s event may become a virtual festival.

“I promise the festival will do its utmost to still reach people in different ways, no matter what.”

Dr Castelletti added: “We are remaining positive and lots of wonderful things are already happening. We are being as creative as possible and have not yet cancelled our summer festival.

“However, we are following Government directives and health guidance at all times so have suspended everything until after Easter when we shall be in a position to make a better decision about the cancellation or rescheduling of the festival. 

Ox In a Box is proud to be the official Digital Media Partner for this year’s festival, and we are looking forward to working with the organisers to make sure people across Oxford continue to have access to the exciting programme of events.

So how will Michelle and her team deliver such an extensive programme? “We are ploughing on, and still hoping to deliver our lavish feast inspired by the 500th anniversary of the Field of Cloth of Gold.

“But we are also looking for ways and means to maintain our wonderful relationships with our artists, partners and supporters, should this not take place in the way it was originally intended,” she says.

A big challenge then? “Never before have the Arts been more important in my lifetime,” Michelle says, “and luckily we live in a digital world that makes separation a bit less painful and allows the Arts to speak in different ways.

“I promise the festival will do its utmost to still reach people in different ways, no matter what.”

Michelle with ‘Hal’ – her Henry VIII cardboard cutout

With the full programme about to be released, the festival organisers are still hoping to deliver as many events as possible – even if this means creating an online experience.

Dr Castelletti added: “The Arts are essential to humanity. Magdalen College School recognises this in every aspect, which is why the festival is an integral part of its fabric.

The Oxford Festival Of The Arts aims to run in June and July. Find out more at www.artsfestivaloxford.org and check www.oxinabox.co.uk for regular updates too. We will keep you posted with all the latest developments.


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