Yes. We have had to make changes to our original plans to ensure that we bring you the very best entertainment in the safest way possible, and you will notice some diﬀerences. If restrictions ease on June 21st, we will open up additional seating as required and allowed. But for the next few months and during our initial selling period, we have to plan according to the latest guidelines published by Public Health England. Other changes are detailed below. Our COVID-19 policy and regular updates in line with Government announcements will be published on our website.
How will the seating be affected in the theatres?
Buxton Opera House seats will be limited (at the current time) to 410 seats and the Royal Hall seats to 350 in line with the guidelines in place as we go to press.
The seating plan for each theatre is divided into ‘bubbles’ – most seats are in pairs, but we have three and four-seat ‘bubbles’ and singles also available. At the current time, the advice for Stage 3 (when indoor performances can resume) is that you will be able to meet indoors either as a group of six or with one other household. This means that you could sit with someone from a diﬀerent household in your pair of seats in the theatre. Hopefully regulations will change by the time the Festival takes place and we will be able to open up the theatre fully. We reserve the right to do this regardless of the seating plan you book under.
We will ensure you are all kept up to date, with any changes to regulations.
How will my Festival experience be different?
We aim to provide an outstanding theatrical experience with all the fun and friendliness you have come to expect from the G&S Festival. But, because we have to work within COVID-19 guidelines, our orchestra and chorus numbers have adapted accordingly, along with some of the action you would normally expect to see on-stage. We are conﬁdent that these adaptations will not detract from your experience of enjoying the performances.
Orchestra and Chorus
We cannot use the orchestra pit in the Royal Hall, and so our players will be positioned at the front of the stage. The orchestra pit in Buxton Opera House is large enough to accommodate a reduced, socially distanced orchestra.
Our chorus will remain seated throughout the performances at the sides of the stage.
Will the Utopia Pavilion be open in Harrogate this year?
We plan to open the Utopia Pavilion this year, but the decision will be made later and in line with government guidelines. We anticipate holding the morning and afternoon fringe events in the Utopia Pavilion, and we also hope to offer our usual information desk, shop, café and bar here.
What COVID-19 Safety measures will be in place?
We will comply with all Public Health England guidelines and update this page and all ticket holders with the latest regulations regarding your safe visit to the Festival.
face masks will be worn in all enclosed spaces, including the theatre
frequent sanitiser points will be located throughout the theatre
cashless shopping with contactless card readers (subject to amounts allowed) will be encouraged for all purchases
the performances will start 30 minutes earlier than usual (matinees at 2 pm and the evening performances at 7 pm) to allow for longer intervals
regular cleaning of toilets, door handles etc will take place
We will follow guidelines from Public Health England regarding testing. We will update our Safety Information section on the website regularly and just before and during the Festival, outlining the measures we will be taking to make sure you are safe at all times. We will send email notiﬁcations regularly to all visitors.
Will there be raised seating in the Royal Hall's Grand Hall as usual?
Yes, we decided this would be a safer and better experience for all our visitors.
Will you send tickets in the post this year?
Yes, we can send your tickets if you wish, but we strongly recommend bringing them on your mobile phone or printing them at home. Simply tick the relevant box on the priority booking form or online to indicate your choice.
Will I be able to buy refreshments before the performance and during the interval, and will there be a cabaret club after the show?
We hope so! But again, this will be subject to Public Health England guidelines in place at the time. We will keep all visitors up-to-date.
Will there be a Youth Production and UNIFEST this year?
Sadly we have had to cancel this year’s UNIFest productions as students are not able to rehearse. But they will all be back next year, bigger and better than ever. And the same goes for the Youth Production. In the interests of safety, we decided that this year’s Youth Production would not go ahead.
Will there be a Bus Pass Opera this year?
No, we are sorry, and we know many people will be disappointed. It is impossible to stage this production due to the safety measures in place at the current time. But it will be back in 2022. We are, however, planning a Festival production of The Sorcerer on Monday 16 August.
Will there be a fringe programme?
Yes, there will be a fantastic morning fringe program in Harrogate. We will not build the Savoy Theatre for our UNIFest and other matinee performances this year as socially distancing will not allow. Fringe events and afternoon concerts will take place in the Utopia Pavilion.
What happens to my tickets if the Festival cannot go ahead due to COVID-19?
If the Gilbert & Sullivan Festival has to cancel due to COVID-19, you will be offered a full ticket refund.
Have any further questions?
Call us on 01422 323252 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to help!
When Can I Book Tickets?
Important Booking Dates
Priority Draw 1: From April 16th
Ticket booking opens for Patrons, Festival Partners, Life Members and ticket donors and donors £1,000 and above
Note: We will be in touch with you to book your preferred seats or return the enclosed Priority Booking forms.
Priority Draw 2: From April 23rd
Booking opens for Benefactors, ticket donors and donors £100-£999 You can return the enclosed forms with your preferred seats, or call the Box Office on 01422 323252 to book between 10 am and 5 pm.
Priority Draw 3: From April 29th
Booking opens for Festival Friends and all other Festival Heroes.
You can return the enclosed forms with your preferred seats, or call the Box Office on 01422 323252 to book between 10 am and 5 pm.
Open Sale: From May 5th
You can return the enclosed forms with your preferred seats, and our box office staff will book on your behalf, book online from 9 am on Wednesday 5 May or call the Box Office on 01422 323252 to book between 10 am and 5 pm