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Baloise first European festival to cancel 2021

Swiss concerts series Baloise Session is the first major European festival to cancel its in-person 2021 edition, as organisers say it’s “impossible to plan with any certainty” due to the limitations of the pandemic.

The Baloise Session, which has hosted acts including John Legend, Elton John, Rod Stewart, Alicia Keys and Lionel Richie, was due to take place between the 23 October to 10 November at Basel’s Event Halle but will now forgo the event for a second consecutive year.

“The decision was a difficult one to make but health comes first,” says Beatrice Stirnimann, CEO of the Baloise Session. “Covid-19 continues to affect the world and the Baloise Session in 2021. The health of our visitors, artists and staff comes first. Concerts in an intimate setting with an enthusiastic audience do not fit with social distancing and all the other current pandemic restrictions.

“Concerts in an intimate setting with an enthusiastic audience do not fit with social distancing and all the other restrictions”

“The artists are sensibly continuing to severely limit their travel, are not planning any new tours, and in these difficult times are hardly able to make binding concert engagements. All these facts make it impossible to plan with any certainty. Without planning and financial security, the Baloise Session cannot be held.

“Our principal sponsors Basler Kantonalbank, Novartis, Dufry, AMAG, Cornèrcard and IWB also show great understanding and are helping financially to make ends meet. We are extremely grateful for this loyalty. This is the lifeblood of our 35-year-old festival,” she concludes.

The Baloise Session, which sold out all 15,500 tickets for two consecutive years in 2018 and 2019, will return in 2022 and in the meantime will continue with its livestreamed concert series ‘Baloise Session @ Home’.

Elsewhere in the European festival market, French metal festival Hellfest yesterday begged the government to make a decision on whether this year’s season could go ahead and Danish festival organisers have appealed for government support.


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