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May 12, 2020
 
Re: Application to perform at the 2021 Cygnet Folk Festival
 
Artist:
<<Artist>>
 
Dear 
<<First Name>>,
 
Thank you for your application to perform at the 2021 Cygnet Folk Festival.
 
As you’re no doubt 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 come to the decision 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.
We are truly disappointed that we are unable to offer performers and crew valuable employment in these difficult times.
 
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 the national situation gains some clarity, we may consider a couple of smaller day events, in which case we will contact you individually to ensure your availability and confirm details.
Anyone who has an application in for 2021 will automatically have your application rolled over for consideration for our 2022 festival-our 40th anniversary!
We will email you when applications open next year to confirm your interest for 2022.
 
As a truly valued applicant to 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 you keep this news confidential by not sharing it in any public forum prior to our formal announcement.
 
Our reasoning for cancelling now 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 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 years’ event, so it is prudent to put our efforts and resources into producing a wonderful 2022 40th anniversary event though as mentioned, we do hope it may be possible to host one or two single day or evening events.
 2022 as mentioned, will be the 40th anniversary of the Cygnet Folk Festival so we will also use the coming 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 info@cygnetfolkfestival.org
 
Sincerely,

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.
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