After an unprecedented year, we’re very excited to be able to share our timeline for bringing live performances back to Ventnor Exchange
After a true rollercoaster of a year there at last seems to be light at the end of the tunnel, and the news of successful vaccines in the pipeline bodes well for an eventual return to normality!
As with all small business this year has been incredibly difficult, adapting to constantly changing rules and regulations and huge drops in income. As a cultural organisation our work has been particularly affected. Our whole ethos and purpose is to bring people together (often in enclosed, intimate spaces!) which has flown in the face of the need to enforce ‘social distancing’ and lockdowns!
We couldn’t have made it through without you.
It’s no exaggeration to say we would not have made it through this year had it not been for you. Our amazing audiences and community have kept us going, even during the bleakest moments and we are truly very grateful. From the Crowdfunder Campaign in the Spring to a surge in those signing up as Friends and all those who have visited us when we’ve been open. Every penny has made a difference.
With your support and the backing of Arts Council England, we’ve not just survived but been able to launch Brave Island, a dedicated platform for 14-25 year olds offering funding, training and opportunities which already has over 120 signed up users. We’ve also been raising money for the Ventnor Community Foodbank and been running online articles events and activities, including a Book Club, Spoken Word Collective and Virtual Afternoon Teas.
As we head into the Christmas period it’s important we maintain the low rates of infection that have kept the Island in the tiny 1% of the population under Tier 1 rules. This has unfortunately meant that we have very reluctantly come to the decision to cancel our performances of The Undercover Christmas Club, which we’ve been looking forward to for months. Riddlesticks Theatre, the performers behind the show, are based in Bristol, which has fallen under Tier 3 and this has placed a wide range of restrictions on their ability to rehearse and mount a full tour. Current Government advice is also to avoid travel between our tiers.
All ticket holders have been contacted today and full refunds issued. For those looking for an alternative Christmas treat we would absolutely recommend Forest Fables at Mottistone Manor which looks amazing!
The good news is Ventnor Exchange is open again, with our bar and record shop full of exciting festive treats, along with a series special evenings including Beer Tastings.
When will shows return?
Although the future remains uncertain, with more time to plan and a route out of pandemic restrictions now emerging, we’re pleased to say work is well underway to bring live performances back to Ventnor Exchange.
Our first live shows will take place in March 2021, making use of larger buildings in the town which we’ll be transforming into ‘pop up’ venues to host physically distanced performances. This will be followed by a summer of outdoor performances between May – September when we hope to return to the Exchange itself for an Autumn Season.
What about Ventnor Fringe?
We are very hopeful that Ventnor Fringe will return in 2021, and preparations are well underway for a specially designed edition of the festival. Look out for big news imminently!
Make sure your signed up to our newsletters for all the latest news and keep your eyes peeled as we begin to announce our special programme of live events in 2021.