STRATFORD'S Shakespeare on the River Festival will not be held in April and May.
Festival organiser Gavin Roberts said the committee announced the festival's cancellation "with the deepest regret".
"We are devastated but we have no doubt this is the right decision," he said.
"It has been a difficult start to 2020 for our community with bushfires over summer and now this pandemic.
"The Shakespeare Festival will not have any live events in April or May this year.
" ... we all understand the value and significance of theatre in bringing communities together and as such, we are desperate to bring you some form of the 2020 festival line-up as soon as the threat eases and our government advises we are able to resume regular social practices.
"At this stage with so much uncertainty, we don't know exactly how that will look, or when that will be, but we can assure you that as soon as we know - we will let you know.
"In light of this situation, full refunds will be made to those who have already purchased tickets to events and performances.
"Our faire day stall holders will also receive a refund."
Presentations for best costuming 2019, best actor 2019 and the Janice Jones Youth Award 2020 will still go ahead, using online presentations on April 23 (Shakespeare's Birthday).
The short story competition is still proceeding with entries extended until the end of March, and Mr Roberts recommending "get[ting] your quills out in isolation".
Entry details for the competition are available at www.stratfordshakespeare.com.au.
Mr Roberts directed people to the Shakespeare on the River Festival Facebook page to keep up to date with any reinstatement of activities.