The acclaimed Hippfest silent film festival, which was due to take place this weekend, has been postponed over Coronavirus fears.
Falkirk Community Trust announced that the festival, held at Scotland’s oldest purpose-built cinema in Bo’ness, will no longer go ahead.
The tenth festival, which was due to run from 18-22 March, was to celebrate the new Roaring Twenties – in 2020!
A HippFest spokesman said: ‘A number of our performers are understandably becoming concerned due to the constantly evolving COVID-19 outbreak; this means that we can no longer deliver the programme we had planned, so we have taken the difficult decision to postpone the Hippodrome Silent Film Festival 2020.
‘While we are disappointed that our 10th anniversary edition will not go ahead next week, we intend to reschedule in late October 2020.
‘We send apologies to our audiences, supporters, partners, guests, volunteers and staff and look forward to welcoming everyone at this later date.
‘Tickets will be refunded in full. If you booked tickets online, they will be automatically refunded. If you bought tickets via the box office, please contact us directly for a refund.
‘We would be grateful for your patience at this busy time while our colleagues attend to the necessary tasks.Please be assured Falkirk Community Trust venues remain open for business as usual and there will be screenings at the Hippodrome over the Festival dates 18–22 March and beyond.
‘The replacement screening programme for the Hippodrome will be posted on our website.’
This year’s programme was due to comprise silent films featuring masked crusaders, real-life martyrs and mysterious femme fatales; world-class live music accompaniment, talks, workshops, tours and – in true Keystone fashion – a massive custard pie fight to kick off the festival.
Former Doctor Who Paul McGann was due to attend the festival for the first time to provide live narration of the stylised, poetic intertitles that accompany the Closing Night screening L’Homme du Large (1920): a powerful tale of a fisherman and his family living on the remote Breton coast and torn apart by their idle and degenerate son.
For full details visit www.hippfest.co.uk