Harmonize, Republic of Korea performing on stage of the World Choir Games in 2018 © Nolte Photography

The World Choir Games 2022 Postponed by One Year

Choirs will meet from July 3-13, 2023 in Gangneung, Republic of Korea

World Choir Games 2023

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When INTERKULTUR and the city of Gangneung jointly agreed in July 2020 to organize the 12th World Choir Games in South Korea, there seemed to be enough time to overcome the global Corona pandemic and organize a safe, international choral event in the summer of 2022. However, it has since become obvious that COVID-19 will continue to impact choral and cultural life around the world in 2022.

For this reason, it is now certain: The 12th World Choir Games Gangneung 2022 will be postponed by one year and will now be held on July 3-13, 2023 in South Korea, as INTERKULTUR and the city of Gangneung have jointly agreed.

After careful consideration of the current risks of COVID-19, the decision was without alternative: the impact of the ongoing Omicron variant, quarantine measures for participants, the government’s social distancing rules on large-scale events, the spread of the virus to local communities, and the related reluctance of choirs from different countries mean that the safety and health of all participants and visitors cannot yet be guaranteed this year in Gangneung. This would also mean that the World Choir Games would be missing an important part of the international exchange, the singing together and the irrepressible joy that they usually have.

At the same time, the postponement of the World Choir Games to 2023 opens up a new perspective for the international choir scene: after choirs have only been able to meet under limited conditions for almost two years, they now have another year to get back to their old level and to prepare intensively for the next World Choir Games – the Olympic Games of Choral Music.

Gangneung City and the National Organizing Committee expressed regret over the postponement of the Games, yet stated that they will prepare the national event more thoroughly to meet the high organizational standards of the World Choir Games. Gangneung Mayor Kim Han-Geun says:

“As nothing is more important than the health and safety of the participating choirs and visitors in Gangneung, we decided to postpone the World Choir Games after much consideration. Fortunately, the global pandemic situation appears to be heading in a more positive direction. I truly hope that we can recover from Covid-19 and return to normal by the summer of 2023, so that Gangneung, the city of culture and art, will be filled with stunning vocal harmonies. In order to make that dream come true, I ask for your continued support and active participation in the 12th World Choir Games.”

Günter Titsch, President of INTERKULTUR, the World Choir Games & World Choir Council also declared himself convinced that a postponement is the only right measure at the moment:

"The consequences of the Corona crisis and the current situation make me convinced that we are taking the right step by postponing the 12th World Choir Games to 2023. The worldwide interest in an Olympics of Choral Music held in Gangneung, a city experienced with Olympic Games, gives evidence that we can expect a very successful event at a high level!"

Gangneung City and INTERKULTUR will now unite all their efforts and work together to make the 12th World Choir Games in Gangneung from July 3-13, 2023 a successful event where a message of hope and peace is delivered to the world by bringing people and nations together through singing.

More information about the 12th World Choir Games Gangneung 2023 is available on the official event website:

www.wcg2023.com

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