WELL, you’ve certainly got to hand it to Worcestershire entertainment legend Chris Jaeger.
You knock him down and before you know it, up he pops, like the cork out of a champagne bottle. And guess what? He’s done it again.
Across Worcestershire and throughout the country, festivals have been cancelled left right and centre because of Covid 19. But here in Worcester, it’s business as usual… well, sort of.
And that’s because, despite everything, the city will be hosting its annual festival this summer, thanks to the determination of the man himself and his small but dedicated team.
This year will see the 18th Worcester Festival, the annual celebration of life in Worcester and surrounding area. It has won many awards, and last year was voted ‘Best Event in Worcestershire 2020’ by users of What’s On magazine.
With the pandemic clock ticking away, and a number of tough decisions to be made about the event, the Worcester Festival team pulled together and decided to bite the bullet.
Festival Director Jaeger said: “With events around the world being cancelled, it looked like there was no hope for the 2020 festival, until we started talking and have reached a very exciting solution. There will be a Worcester Festival this year!
“For this year only, the festival will be rebranded as Worcester Festival 2020 – Virtually The Same. We hope to still include some socially-distanced live events, but the main features will be an exciting mix of virtual events, some streamed live and some pre-recorded.
“This year’s festival will also include workshops that will explore craft, arts, music, theatre, sport, cooking and horticulture.
“There will also be theatrical events, such as storytelling, puppet shows, music and theatre performances and competitions… everything from cooking to colouring and much, much more.
“Like the usual Worcester Festival, the majority of events will be family- oriented and free, but all enjoyed from the comfort of your own home.
“We genuinely believe that we can involve huge numbers of organisations and individuals, making the festival more inclusive than ever. It will be a fantastic opportunity for large numbers of people to either participate in an event, or indeed to stage an event of any sort.”
Worcester Festival 2020 – Virtually The Same will run from Saturday, August 15 to Monday, August 31.
Chris Jaeger is, of course, the man credited with rescuing Worcester’s ailing Huntingdon Hall in the 1990s, and subsequently turning around the fortunes of the loss-making Swan Theatre.
He went on to become the chief executive of the WorcesterLive arts organisation, relinquishing the post last year in order to pursue various other projects. These include writing one-woman plays for his actor partner Liz Grand, some of which have received national and worldwide acclaim.