15 April 2020
3 weeks into our lock-down and it’s amazing to see how quickly we are adapting to our circumstances. Thank you so so much to all those who have donated to our Player Fund which has raised over £9k in just 3 weeks; the first payment to players will be distributed next week. This appeal will continue for a further month until the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme kicks in, so please keep those donations coming in!
In the interim, please look at our ‘OOTS in Lockdown‘ posts to see how our players and management team are filling their time.
In the last 3 weeks, OOTS has received funding to deliver workshops to care homes and into schools over the next year from the Linbury Trust, Arts Council England and the Ratcliff Foundation. Despite lock-down, several entrepreneurial players have found ways to record stimulating workshops for people with dementia from their own homes, which will be distributed weekly to participating care homes in Stratford upon Avon from this week. School resource workshops will follow shortly thereafter, the best of which we will share on our ‘OOTS in Lockdown’ page!
So the work of OOTS continues unabated…..and we can’t wait to share our plans for next season in mid-May. Just watch this space!
Please stay home and keep healthy, and warmest wishes from us all at OOTS.
26 March 2020
It seems a month since our last update, but much has occurred and we are now all confined to our homes. Our players’ work in the meantime has come to an abrupt end, and while Arts Council England made a welcome announcement yesterday about possible financial support, that is subject to application and assessment.
OOTS is fortunate to have modest cash reserves which will ensure employed staff are paid for the next few months, providing essential business continuity in readiness for a a return to normality; but unfortunately, this will not extend to covering the situation of our core freelance players. We have therefore, using some of our resources and with your help, established a separate emergency fund, the sole purpose of which will be to support our players.
The aim is to provide each core player with a contribution to family essentials for as long as we can, plugging the gap before central government steps in and offers help for the self-employed.
Some of you have already very kindly donated your refunded ticket income which will kick-start this fund, for which many many thanks.
For those wishing to donate, please click here.
Thank you for your support at this critical time for the players we value so highly and on whom our future depends.
19 March 2020
It is with huge regret that we have cancelled all remaining concerts at the Stratford Play House and Birmingham Conservatoire until further notice.
This is a very challenging time for both the organisation and for our freelance musicians, so it would be enormously helpful if, when contacted by TicketSource or by Paolo (our Marketing Manager) to refund your tickets, you might be prepared to donate your refund to the Orchestra.
We are working hard to consider ways we can continue to employ our freelance players over the next few months. Despite ticket income only contributing a maximum of 30% towards the costs of a given concert, your donation would be much appreciated and may enable us to schedule small scale recordings and filming, or, in the event of a total lockdown, enable us to remunerate our players in some way.
Thank you in anticipation. Please click here to make a donation.
How will I get my refund?
You will receive an email or a phone call regarding each of the cancelled concerts, which will give you full instructions on your options. If you have booked for more than one affected concert, this may result in your receiving more than one email, as we are dealing with one concert cancellation at a time – we apologise for any inconvenience, but this is the most accurate way to ensure that all bookers are contacted. Please note that OOTS cannot compensate for any travel, accommodation or additional expenses.
Thank you for your patience and understanding.
We have now been formally notified of the closure of Number 8 (Pershore), The Courtyard, (Hereford) and Kings Place until further notice, and the cancellation of the Painswick Festival.
Their respective box offices will be in touch with you to arrange for your tickets to be refunded for our concerts on March 20th, March 26th, April 3rd and April 4th.
However, we would greatly appreciate your support of these wonderful venues by donating the value of your ticket rather than asking for a refund.
We will keep you informed of the status of our concerts on March 24th, May 5th and May 6th once we receive further clarification.
Thank you and please keep healthy.
As valued supporters of OOTS, we wanted to update you on the steps we are taking to help minimise the spread of COVID-19.
We are continuing to follow and monitor official guidance from the UK Government and Public Health England carefully. It is of vital importance for us to be in a position to ensure that any and all procedures are in place to support the health and well-being of our audience, players and staff members.
To help combat the spread of COVID-19, we have been putting precautionary safety measures in place, including:
- Educating our staff and players on prevention
- Ensuring players and staff self isolate in the event that they show any symptoms or are in contact with anybody who has contracted the virus
- Emphasizing frequent and proper hand washing
- Ensuring each concert venue has taken appropriate measures to minimise transmission of the virus
In the interim, concerts will go ahead unless the government announces the closure of public venues. If this occurs, a full refund will be given to all ticket purchasers minus the cost of ticket postage in the event that tickets were originally posted to you.
Thank you for your patience and for your continued support of OOTS, and please do your best to keep healthy.