ILKLEY Literature Festival is introducing a radical new format this year as it adapts to cope with the coronavirus pandemic.

The annual event normally promises a packed fortnight of talks, performances and workshops in October.

But this year the festival will be a mixture of digital content and some live events, running throughout the autumn and winter and continuing until next spring.

In a statement announcing the changes festival organisers said: “A few months ago, it was hoped that the Ilkley Literature Festival could be presented in its traditional format this autumn, but we now know that is simply not possible.

“First and foremost, the festival’s responsibility is to ensure the health and safety of staff, speakers, audiences, and volunteers. In consultation with our venues it is apparent that reopening safely for audiences of more than 30-50 people will not be possible until early 2021.

“So instead the ILF team is excited to be developing a range of digital content and activity that will be presented to audiences safely whilst still promoting all things reading, writing and creativity. Rather than focusing on just two weeks in October, the new programme of activities will launch in September and continue right through to Spring 2021, when a bumper Spring Series of live events is planned to take place.”

Director Erica Morris said: “While it feels strange not to be gearing up to welcome our festival friends and loyal audiences this autumn – the first time since the festival became an annual event in 1988 - we are thrilled to bring you this programme of digital content, workshops and new commissions and it is our hope that by spring 2021 we will be able to return to enjoying shared live experiences with authors and audiences in Ilkley”.

Activities will include digital talks, creative workshops and mini-lectures.

More details on this year’s programme will be announced via ILF’s website, newsletters, and social media channels. | @ilkleylitfest | #ilf2020