Alderney Cultural Exchange event postponed

Alderney’s Cultural Exchange, which was due to see more than 250 visitors travelling to the island from France, has been put on hold over fears over the spread of coronavirus.

Last year's cultural exchange in Normandy. (27449819)
Last year's cultural exchange in Normandy. (27449819)

It was Alderney’s turn to host the music and dance-based event, which was scheduled to take place from 1-3 May. More than 250 people were due to sail to Alderney on the Manche Iles Express and stay at the campsite. Organisers wrote to the States of Alderney for advice on whether to go ahead with the event, given that new cases were springing up daily in France – now a category B country – including in Normandy.

Alderney Cultural Exchange Committee chairman Sally Pond said that many of those taking part were older people and had chronic illnesses. Events due to take place included a sea shanty concert, with a group from Cornwall performing, stage combat classes, a train ride, celebrations in a marquee on the Butes and joint recitals from choirs and bands.

‘We wrote to several people at the States of Alderney for advice and Business Development Manager Chris Brock wrote back.

‘He said that while it wasn’t a decision for the States to make, the assessment within the Bailiwick Emergency Planning framework would be that holding the event would present too great a risk for the island. While we still have six weeks to go, we thought that on that advice it would be better to postpone it.’

The new proposed dates are 4-6 September or 11-13 September, depending on transport availability. This weekend’s wine-tasting event, to raise funds for Alderney Cultural Exchange, was also postponed.

The Cultural Exchange has been taking place since 2016 and is an offshoot of its twinning festival with Beaumont-Hague, which has been going for 40 years.

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