The Hong Kong Arts Festival (HKAF) which was due to get underway this week has become the latest casualty of the coronavirus outbreak, with all performances cancelled.
Almost 1,800 international and local artists had been expected to take part in more than 120 theatre, dance, opera and musical performances between February 13 and March 14.
But organisers say the venues booked have been closed due to the virus outbreak.
"It is with deep regret that we announce the cancellation of the February and March performances and events of the 48th HKAF. We hope the current epidemic will be brought under control soon and are confident that the city will recover its vibrancy," festival chairman Victor Cha said in a statement.
The festival's executive director, Tisa Ho, said the whole team was "heartbroken" at having to cancel.
"We have poured all of our passion for the performing arts and countless hours of effort into preparing this year’s festival; we share in the disappointment over the cancellation of so many eagerly anticipated performances. However, the safety of our audience, participating artists and staff is our top priority," Ho said.
"In the meantime, the HKAF team is working with participating artists and venues to explore the possibility of rescheduling some of the productions in the near future. Information on any rescheduled performances will be announced at a later date," she added.
Organisers said details on how to obtain refunds can be found on the festival's website, "but patrons may consider donating the cost of their tickets in full or in part to support the organisation through this crisis".
Outbreak brings curtain down on HK Arts Festival
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