Organisers postpone town pageant held every 10 years

PUBLISHED: 17:00 01 April 2020

Cast of Axbridge Pagent 2020.   Picture: Marc Le Galle Photography

Cast of Axbridge Pagent 2020. Picture: Marc Le Galle Photography

Marc Le Galle Photography

Organisers of a pageant which has gained international recognition will postpone the event until 2021.

Artistic director John Bailey and cast of Axbridge Pageant.     Picture: Marc Le Galle PhotographyArtistic director John Bailey and cast of Axbridge Pageant. Picture: Marc Le Galle Photography

Volunteers behind Axbridge Pageant, which is held every 10 years in the town, made the decision with a ‘heavy heart’ at a crisis meeting on March 16.

Artistic director John Bailey said due to the Government’s advice to cancel social gatherings for the next few weeks meant rehearsals would be affected and there would be a ‘reluctance for people to commit to the pageant’.

Factors behind the decision included the large amount of people who are in their 70s or older, many in the cast being of a similar age and the uncertainty over the length of restrictions to people’s movement since the coronavirus outbreak.

John said: “I have had the privilege to oversee two Axbridge Pageants in 2000 and 2010, and have spent the last two years developing the 2020 Pageant with the exceptional community that is Axbridge.

Final scenes of a previous Axbridge Pageant.    Picture: Marc Le Galle PhotographyFinal scenes of a previous Axbridge Pageant. Picture: Marc Le Galle Photography

“It is hard work, but always rewarding and heart-warming because of the collective will of the people who believe in something and want to make it happen.

“It is therefore with heavy heart that I need to announce we have found it necessary to postpone the pageant for 2020.

“I am sure that, in the light of escalating events, I do not need to outline in great detail why we have made this difficult decision. However, the acceleration and severity of the coronavirus leaves us with no alternative.”

John says to make this decision protects the ‘commitment, passion and enthusiasm’ the community has for the event and the spectacle has achieved ‘international recognition’ to make it into the history books.

He continued: “This, of course, is hugely disappointing news for the many people who have worked tirelessly on the event, and for the hundreds who were about to embark on the exciting journey of bringing the Axbridge Pageant to fruition in August of this year.

“We, cautiously, announce that Axbridge Pageant will be put on hold until August of 2021.

“It is hoped that, later this year, when we have negotiated our way out of the present gloom, we may be able to pick up where we left off.”

The pageant was set to take place from August 29-31 but will now be rescheduled to be performed on August 28-30, 2021.


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