May 12, 2020
Dear <<First Name>>,
Thank you for your ongoing commitment to and support of the Cygnet Folk Festival.
As you’re aware it is a huge team effort to pull this event off annually, and the planning for each year begins almost as soon as the previous event winds up; thus, we should be well into planning for 2021 now.
Considering this, and in these current uncertain times in the global pandemic, we are having to make some hard decisions regarding our 2021 event. The committee and staff have discussed all contingencies and have decided that it is prudent and appropriate to cancel the 2021 festival. We are announcing now to give everyone clarity regarding our intention for next January.
This may appear to be a premature decision, especially as Australia is currently doing so well in managing the outbreak and beginning to ease some restrictions; however, for the reasons outlined below, we feel it is the appropriate and responsible choice.
As a valued supporter of the festival, we wanted to let you know of our decision as soon as practical and in advance of a public announcement, which we hope to make by early June at the latest. We ask that as far as possible, you keep this news confidential by not sharing it in any public forum before our formal announcement.
Our reasoning is thus:
- During the festival, approximately 6000 people descend on a small country town over the weekend. Even if such large gatherings are allowed by next January (which is currently very much an unknown), it presents an unacceptable health risk to our small community.
- The festival relies on campgrounds and local billet hosts for the accommodation of performers and attendees alike. Camping facilities are very basic and maintaining the level of hygiene that will still be required would not be possible. Additionally, we feel it unlikely that billet hosts will be comfortable having strangers in their homes so soon. We would feel it inappropriate that we put our highly valued hosts in a position of feeling obliged to us.
- While State borders will hopefully be relaxed by this time, it seems unlikely that International borders will be. Without the attraction of a few International performers, in addition to the likelihood that many of our attendees may be facing serious financial constraints, the festival would be risking a potentially substantial financial loss. All the funds from any event go directly towards hosting the following year’s event, so it is prudent to put our efforts and resources into producing a wonderful 40th-anniversary event in 2022.
2022 will be the 40th anniversary of the Cygnet Folk Festival so we will also use the next months to plan for a truly spectacular and special event in January 2022 when we can hopefully gather in a truly joyful celebration!
Once again, we thank you for your ongoing support for the Cygnet Folk Festival and we will keep you informed as our plans for 2022 unfold. Please do not hesitate to contact us at any time via firstname.lastname@example.org
Cygnet Folk Festival Committee and Staff
Bridget Binnie (Festival Coordinator), Erin Collins (Artistic Director), Anne Foale (President), Vallorie Hodges (Vice President), Robert Durand (Secretary), Michael Thomsen (Treasurer), Ray Mainsbridge, Sal Port, Michael Bentley, Megan Helmer, Michael Russell.