A FESTIVAL which would have seen Lionel Richie, Simple Minds and UB40 playing Blenheim Palace has been postponed because of Coronavirus.

The Nocturne Live festival, which would also have featured David Gray, Aswad and Deacon Blue in the palace's Great Court from June 18-21, was called this afternoon because of coronavirus.

A spokesman for the organisers said: "This year’s Nocturne Live was set to be our biggest to date, so it’s with much regret that we announce we will be unable to take our yearly residence at Blenheim Palace in 2020 due to the impact of Covid-19.

"Alongside the safety of our audience, our artists, the residents of Woodstock and our crew, is a need to protect the capacity of emergency services in the Oxford area; a need that will be present for some time to come.

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"With this in mind, the sixth edition of Nocturne Live will now take place from June 17-20 2021. Our team is already making great progress rescheduling the full 2020 bill to the new dates and, once each concert has been confirmed, tickets will be automatically transferable to 2021. We hope you can join us in Blenheim Palace’s stunning Great Court next year."

He added: "If the rescheduling of artists is not possible, or you are unable to make these new dates, we will of course offer a refund on your tickets.

Oxford Mail:

"Over the next 21 days our team will continue working hard to redeliver this year’s great line-up and you will be contacted directly by your ticket agent by May 18 with a full update. This will include details from us on the status of your concert, plus information on the ticket transfer and refund process from your ticket agent.

"We thank you for your continued support in these very unique circumstances and hope that you are staying safe.

Nocturne Live's cancellation follows the postponement of other big Oxfordshire events including Cropredy, Kite, Henley and Rewind festivals and Blenheim's Battle Proms.

Many others, including Truck in Steventon and Wilderness at Cornbury Park near Charlbury, have not announced any change to their plans to go ahead.

Go to nocturnelive.com for further details.