Last updated: 27 February 2021

We look forward to bringing lots more singing, choral fun and magical moments to you in 2021!

It is with great pleasure that we announce that the Cork International Choral Festival will go ahead in 2021 on the planned dates, 28th April – 2nd May, in the form of a virtual festival.

The support that we have received from everyone has given us the confidence to take this unprecedented situation as an opportunity to actively reimagine our festival, following in the courageous footsteps of other events and cultural organisations who have already initiated this radical transformation of the arts and the cultural sector.

As an international choral festival we are part of the global call for promotion of choral music in all its many forms. Delivery of a virtual festival in 2021 will not replace that which is core to our mission.

It has been a year of transformation and we are learning to live in these strange times in the same way that you are. More than ever, the 2021 edition will be everyone’s festival as we continue to include your input and feedback in our plans in order to make sure that this year’s celebration of choral music is as accessible, inclusive and safe as possible.

Choral music is, by definition, a group activity and we are fully aware of the logistical challenges that the Covid-19 pandemic has imposed on the choral world. The health and safety of everyone taking part in our event is our number one priority. In spite of the recent announcements worldwide and advances with vaccines, gatherings in Ireland, including group rehearsals, remain discouraged at the time of writing. The Cork International Choral Festival is fully supportive of these safety measures and will continue to follow the latest guidance from local and national authorities in the interests of the health and welfare of all.

In light of the significant effect that the pandemic has had upon the group singing sector, some elements of this year’s Cork International Choral Festival will not be possible. As we continue to monitor the developments, we have taken this unprecedented situation as an opportunity to actively reimagine our Festival. The International and National Syllabus have been amended and updated to incorporate the current national and international climate. For the first time this year we are launching a programme in which choirs from around Ireland and the world can enter without needing to travel to Cork.

We are excited to present a programme of online Gala Concerts, Pre-Concert Talks, National and International Video Competitions, the new Ibec Workplace Choir of the Year Competition, a virtual international Choral Trail, and an educational programme of online workshops. Details of the programme will be announced in the coming weeks!

Should the government guidelines change in the intervening period to allow live events, we will adapt our plans to the new measures and notify the public on our website. Depending on the level of the restrictions in place at the time of our event, an opportunity may be offered to national choirs to perform non-competitively in outdoor locations or qualified indoor venues. Any updates will be available on our website and will complement the information in the Syllabus.

We ask you for your understanding and patience with this, and also to keep in regular contact with the Festival Office.

To prove our commitment to providing our participants with a safe space, the Cork International Choral Festival has successfully applied to the COVID-19 Safety Charter and all our staff have completed Fáilte Ireland’s Infection Prevention Control for Tourism Businesses course. You can learn more about Fáilte Ireland’s COVID-19 Safety Charter here.

Do not hesitate to get in touch at should you have any questions relating to the 2021 Cork International Choral Festival and your participation.

Stay safe!