Keswick Convention is introducing compulsory registration for the first time this year for everyone who attends the annual Christian gathering.
Registration has already opened, nearly three months ahead of the start of the three-week convention on July 17.
The event, which remains free for everyone, normally allows unlimited amounts of people from all over the world to attend.
In another first, this year’s convention will be held at the historic former pencil factory site.
Keswick Ministries, the charity which runs the event, says registration this year is to help with planning when there may still be some restrictions in place due to Covid.
David Sawday, chief operating officer for Keswick Ministries, said: “We’re launching registration to give us a better idea of the numbers who wish to attend.
“We want to ensure everyone gets to see as much of the programme as they want.
“However, we are mindful that we may need to reduce capacity at venues due to COVID.
“So, registration for the weeks is not a guarantee of a seat at a specific event.
“Once we have a better understanding of the numbers coming and what the Government guidance is, we’ll let people know if they can go to all or just some of the events. But we are hopeful that everyone will be able to attend most of the sessions they want to.”
This year’s programme features morning bible readings, evening celebrations, Keswick lectures and seminars, as well as programmes for families and youth, all based on the theme of Faithful.
People should register for the week they are going to the convention and indicate the sessions they would like to attend.
Those aged 11-18 will need to be registered separately for their sessions.
Mr Sawday added: “We’re looking forward to this year’s convention, which will be held for the first time on the former pencil factory site, as well as the Rawnsley site and relay venues in the town. It will be different this year due to COVID but we are proceeding with caution, flexibility and optimism.”
Several measures are being brought in this year, in light of COVID.
Instead of operating from one main tent, as it has done for many years, there will be more medium-sized venues to allow social distancing which organisers expect will still be in place.
Speakers and sung worship will take place from a main stage in the former packing hall on the main site, with services relayed to other marquees and venues on the site and elsewhere in the town.
Youth activity will mainly be in the newly-refurbished ground floor areas of the pencil factory. Main meetings will be streamed online and be available on catch-up.
James Robson, ministry director, said: “We are planning to go ahead this summer carefully, cautiously, in line with government guidance and in consultation with all relevant bodies.
“There is real joy to be able to meet again with other Christians, and it’s wonderful to be able to have something to look forward to.”
The convention has been running more than 145 years and pre-coronavirus, attracted more than 12,000 visitors to Keswick each year.
This year it runs until August 6.