Shock cancellation of Symphony at the Tower

The hugely popular annual Symphony at the Tower event is no more, it has been announced.

Thursday, 5th January 2017, 9:37 am
Updated Monday, 9th January 2017, 12:40 pm
Blake and Lucy Kay perform at the St Catherines Hospice Symphony at the Tower

The St Catherine’s Hospice fundraising event at Hoghton Tower was cancelled at the last minute in 2012 and 2016 due to terrible weather and waterlogged ground.

Now St Catherine’s has announced that it will not be doing the event – which over the years has featured headliners including Status Quo, Joe Bonamassa and Will Young – in the future.

Chief executive of St Catherine’s Hospice, Stephen Greenhalgh, said: “After very careful thought and consideration, in conjunction with our event organiser Cuffe & Taylor, St Catherine’s Board has concluded that its 2016 Symphony at the Tower event was its finale.

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The scene at Hoghton Tower after torrential rain caused two of three Symphony At The Tower events to be cancelled in 2016

“Symphony at the Tower has been our flagship fundraiser at Hoghton Tower for over 20 years. We have had a terrific run and recent years have brought fabulous stars such as Status Quo, James Blunt, Katherine Jenkins, The Human League, The Christians and Aled Jones to Lancashire, along with top-class performances from the Heart of England Philharmonic Orchestra and The Northern Chamber Orchestra.

“But cancellations in 2012 and 2016 due to dangerous ground conditions caused by inclement weather, has meant that we have had to seriously reconsider the long-term safety and viability of the event.

“Much has changed over the last two decades when it comes to organising major events including insurance and regulatory requirements that, quite rightly, place much greater and more exacting demands on organisers to ensure the safety of everyone involved.

“With many wetter summers in recent years, evenings at Hoghton Tower that could have gone ahead 20 years ago, cannot do so now and after the two cancellations, insurance cover quite logically goes up significantly.

The scene at Hoghton Tower after torrential rain caused two of three Symphony At The Tower events to be cancelled in 2016

“It is also important to acknowledge how disappointing it is for supporters who really look forward to these evenings, when they are cancelled unavoidably at late notice. Although we are grateful for their understanding, this is not what we would wish for.

“Whilst we know that many will be saddened that we have brought this special event to a close, we hope supporters will understand that we have considered this matter most carefully including, for example, the possibility of alternative venues. However, part of the unique appeal of the Symphony was the magical atmosphere created by the Hoghton Tower setting.

“We recognise that some events have a shelf life and, in the interests of the patients and families whom we serve, supporters can be assured that we are constantly looking ahead to alternative ways of fundraising and promoting the essential work of the hospice.”