Shakespeare's Birthday Celebrations to go digital for 2021

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Press Release

Published on 29 March 2021
Archived on 29 April 2021

An annual celebration that commemorates the life, birthday and legacy of one of the greatest playwrights of all time will be broadcast around the globe.

Shakespeare's Birthday Celebrations will be returning this year, but because of the Coronavirus pandemic things will be a little bit different.

Instead of huge crowds lining the streets, people are being urged to stay safe, stay home and watch the proceedings online as they will be streamed on YouTube for the whole world to see.

The event will be filmed before the day of broadcast on Friday, April 23 using all appropriate Coronavirus safety measures and social distancing.

Mr Shakespeare will once again be involved along with the Mayor of Stratford, and dignitaries and viewers will be able to see the annual 'Cradle to Grave' pilgrimage from Shakespeare's Birthplace Trust to Holy Trinity Church.

There will be stops along the way at New Place and King Edward VI School where the handover of the quill to the Head Boy will take place - showing the Bard's legacy is being passed on.

The event will also include the usual playing of the national anthem, fanfare and flag ceremony for all to view along the way.

Councillor Tony Jackson, Mayor of Stratford, said: "After the celebrations were cancelled last year, we wanted to make sure that we commemorated Shakespeare's birthday in 2021 and we thought this was the best and safest way to do that.

"It may be a little bit different this year, but people will be able to watch the whole event from the comfort of their homes.

"We then hope the celebrations will make a triumphant return in 2022 and we can all get together, have fun and celebrate in person."

Interspersed throughout the video will be photos of previous events showcasing what the celebrations have been like in the past and how they will be once again in the future.

Cllr Tony Dixon, Chairman of Stratford-on-Avon District Council: "Normally we would be urging people to make sure they were coming into the town and celebrating with us, but this year our message is to stay home and support the event by watching it online.

"What is fantastic about this year is that with the event being posted online, more people than ever will have the chance to see it and it is an opportunity to showcase what Stratford-upon-Avon has to offer.

"We look forward to seeing the completed video in April and watching it at the same time as everyone else in celebration of William Shakespeare's birthday."

To keep up-to-date with all the events taking place across the weekend, follow the Shakespeare's Celebrations Facebook and Twitter pages or visit

Contact details

Stratford-on-Avon District Council
Elizabeth House, Church Street,
Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire,
CV37 6HX
Tel: 01789 267575

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Last updated on 29/03/2021