2022: the year ahead

We hope you had a peaceful Christmas and are looking forward to all that 2022 has in store.

We are saddened to be writing with the news that we have taken the decision not to go ahead with our spring festival this year.

Whilst we are heartened by the fact that, increasingly, infections from Covid seem to be mild, and that perhaps there is light at the end of this pandemic tunnel, right now there remains a great deal of uncertainty and disruption. It doesn’t seem that the government is going to put further restrictions in place, but we are not ethically comfortable with cramming people into venues whilst Omicron cases are rife, and on the other hand are not in a financial position to put on yet another festival with heavily restricted capacities. Added to all this, of course, there is still considerable unpredictability in how the coming few months will play out, and it’s extremely difficult to plan a festival dependably when isolations, quarantines, and audience confidence levels are ever shifting. Putting on any events during these strange times is extremely challenging, but the multifaceted interwoven nature of our festivals brings an extra layer of logistical and financial complexity!

We apologise unreservedly to the many of you who have kept our festival dates clear in your diaries, and who have booked trips especially. We imagine it goes without saying that we would not be making this difficult decision unless we were convinced it’s the right one.

We are enormously proud already to have put on not one, not two, but three festivals since the pandemic began, as well as releasing our digital POSTCARDS series. We remain absolutely committed to sharing the highest quality of music in this very special corner of the country. However, it is our belief that the best way of doing this is to focus our energies on planning for the future.

Most immediately, we are hugely looking forward to this year’s Beverley Chamber Music Festival (28th September – 1st October) – a particularly special festival as it will be the 30th BCMF! By that time we are hopeful that the community and educational events which have always been at the heart of New Paths might once again be possible, and that we will again be able to reach out to new audiences, sharing the magic our loyal followers know and love with a growing circle of new faces.

Many of you will already have read of Roland’s appointment as Chief Executive at the Temple Music Foundation in London. We are proud to think that the illustrious TMF have been so struck by what takes place in Beverley! The fact that for musicians and music-lovers across the country the name ‘Beverley’ is synonymous with such enriching musical experiences is a real source of joy to us. Ailish Tynan recently sent us this photo of her sporting her Beverley bag at the BBC, spreading the word!

We want to reassure our followers that this new step in Roland’s own career in no way signifies a downturn in the energy of New Paths. Indeed, we are excited to think of the possibilities for cross-fertilisation between the two organisations.

We are constantly reminded by our artists and our audience that what we’ve all built between us here in Beverley is something very special: thank you all for your part in that. We could not have done it without you. We cannot wait to see you in September, and we cannot wait to develop the next chapter of New Paths. We all just need to hold our nerve a little longer!

With all best wishes

Libby and Roland