86-90 Paul Street
London EC2A 4NE
INTERKULTUR and the city of Gangneung in the Republic of Korea, the joint organisers of the 12th World Choir Games, have changed the dates of the event from July 2022 to 3-13 July 2023, citing the ongoing impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
In a joint statement, the organisers said, ‘When INTERKULTUR and the city of Gangneung jointly agreed in July 2020 to organise the 12th World Choir Games in South Korea, there seemed to be enough time to overcome the global pandemic and organise a safe, international choral event in the summer of 2022. However, it has since become obvious that COVID-19 will continue to impact choral and cultural life around the world in 2022.
‘After careful consideration of the current risks of COVID-19, the decision was without alternative: the impact of the ongoing Omicron variant, quarantine measures for participants, the government’s social distancing rules on large-scale events, the spread of the virus to local communities, and the related reluctance of choirs from different countries mean that the safety and health of all participants and visitors cannot yet be guaranteed this year in Gangneung. This would also mean that the World Choir Games would be missing an important part of the international exchange, the singing together and the irrepressible joy that they usually have.
‘At the same time, the postponement of the World Choir Games to 2023 opens up a new perspective for the international choir scene: after choirs have only been able to meet under limited conditions for almost two years, they now have another year to get back to their old level and to prepare intensively for the next World Choir Games.’
Gangneung Mayor Kim Han-Geun said, ‘As nothing is more important than the health and safety of the participating choirs and visitors in Gangneung, we decided to postpone the World Choir Games after much consideration. Fortunately, the global pandemic situation appears to be heading in a more positive direction. I truly hope that we can recover from Covid-19 and return to normal by the summer of 2023, so that Gangneung, the city of culture and art, will be filled with stunning vocal harmonies. In order to make that dream come true, I ask for your continued support and active participation in the 12th World Choir Games.’
Günter Titsch, President of INTERKULTUR, said, ‘The consequences of the Corona crisis and the current situation make me convinced that we are taking the right step by postponing the 12th World Choir Games to 2023. The worldwide interest in an Olympics of Choral Music held in Gangneung, a city experienced with Olympic Games, gives evidence that we can expect a very successful event at a high level!’
More information about the 12th World Choir Games Gangneung 2023 is available on the official event website: www.wcg2023.com.