Words Weekend due to take place at The Lowry this month has been called off due to coronavirus fears.

Organisers have decided to cancel the event, citing the increasing numbers of those effected by the coronavirus outbreak.

Artistic director of Words Weekend Beth Gallimore said: “It is with huge sadness that we have taken the decision to cancel Words Weekend at The Lowry following the escalation of COVID-19 in Europe.

“Although this is an incredibly difficult decision, the health of authors and audiences must be our priority.

“The cancellation of London Book Fair was an early indicator of the impact COVID-19 would have on our industry, and given the fast-changing nature of the situation, we feel we must act quickly and decisively.”

The festival was set to feature talks and performance from local and international talents including Salford’s own Shaun Ryder.

Words Weekend aimed to unite communities and ignite imaginations with a line-up that champions diversity and social inclusion.

The accessibility of the event makes it a great shame that it won’t be going ahead, with sign language interpreters set to be on-stage.

Poet Tahira Rehman, who was set to perform at the event said: “It’s such a big shame, I’m gutted but it’s a precaution so its for the best.”

The event was scheduled to take over The Lowry from March 27 til the 29th.

No other future events at The Lowry have been cancelled at this time.

Words Weekend is one of many events and public gathering to be cancelled across the country despite the UK government not ordering any cancellations.

As of 11 March 2020 there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Salford, with 319 confirmed cases across the rest of the UK.

Anyone who’s bought tickets for the event will be contacted by The Lowry.

Advice surrounding coronavirus can be found here.

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