London institution The Barbican has today announced the extension of its temporary closure period, with all events now postponed or cancelled until 30 June 2020.
“The safety of our staff and audiences is our most important consideration, so we’ve taken the decision to fully close the building during this period,” the Barbican said in a previous statement which would see the location initially closed until May 1st. “We’re sorry to the artists and audiences affected and recognise the significant impact that this closure will have on all those we work with or are due to attend our events.”
Now though, the Barbican has extended their closure as the UK government enforces stricter social distancing measures. “Cancelling and postponing events at this scale really isn’t in our nature,” Sir Nicholas Kenyon, Managing Director, Barbican said in a statement. “However, having reviewed the current Government advice and looking at how long social distancing measures are likely to be in place, we feel we’re very unlikely to be open until at least the end of June. We therefore felt the best approach was to inform audiences, as well as the artists and organisations we work with, as soon as we could. We’ll continue to keep reviewing the closure date over the coming weeks.”
Kenyon added: “To close our building was a poignant moment for us all. We’ll be back as soon as we can and are already looking forward to the moment we can reopen our doors. Until then, we’re continuing to focus on our digital offer, as we look to bring the best of the Barbican to audiences online.”
Everyone who has booked a ticket for a Barbican event during this period is eligible for a full refund, with information on how to claim this published here.
Due to the number of events being cancelled and tickets being refunded, the box office is initially prioritising processing refunds for events before 1 May, with ticket bookers for events after this date being contacted about refunds shortly.
The ongoing pandemic of coronavirus disease was first officially identified in December 2019 in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei in China. As of April 1st, more than 860,184 cases of COVID-19 have been officially confirmed but the actual number is thought to be much higher due to substantial under-reporting of cases.
With more than 42,345 people having died from the virus, COVID-19 has now spread into more than 180 other countries—including mainland Europe, South America and many more. Given the exponential growth in cases in countries like Italy, Spain, Germany, France and the UK, the WHO stated that Europe became the epicentre of the pandemic after the strict lockdown in China saw reduced numbers. Now, however, as the virus continues to spread aggressively across The United States—who have more confirmed cases than any other country—the epicentre of coronavirus is expected to be officially changed to North America.