FAQS ABOUT THE EMERGENCE 2020 POSTPONEMENT
On Friday, 13th March, news came from the Federal Government that all non-essential mass gatherings over 500 people should be cancelled to combat the spread of COVID-19. This was the moment the decision was taken out of our hands. Earlier that day, Festival Management and the Creative Corner Board had been working through all possible scenarios and recognised that the most viable and responsible decision for us was to postpone. The Creative Corner is a not-for-profit organisation and could not withstand the financial loss incurred by a cancellation, or by pushing ahead and having to cancel at the last minute. Prior to that, the team had been dealing with speaker changes due to travel restrictions which meant ongoing updates to the speaker line-up. While we had several back up speakers in the wings waiting as a contingency, the uncertainty and daily changes made it hard to progress, and the escalation of activity with COVD-19 meant an increased responsibility for everyone’s health.
Over that weekend, more restrictions were made by the Federal Government, including a compulsory 14-day self-isolation for international arrivals and the limit on indoor mass gatherings was reduced to 100 people, meaning management felt 100% the right decision had been made.
The Creative Corner Board have been looking at all possibilities for this process and have come to the difficult conclusion that the Creative Corner is not able to offer refunds for 2020 ticket holders. If the Creative Corner were to offer refunds to all ticket holders at this time, both the organisation and Emergence Creative Festival would not be able to function, as with so many other events and community groups that have been unexpectedly affected.
By two weeks out from the festival, two thirds of the revenue had been paid out to contractors and suppliers, and for marketing, insurances, and speaker logistics. There’s simply not enough funds to pay out every refund at this time.
While our terms and conditions state that tickets are non-refundable when the festival must be postponed due to ‘acts of god or circumstances outside of our control’, we still want to do the best we can to respect your rights as a customer. All tickets will be honoured for the 2021 festival and we urge our ticket holders to retain their ticket for the next instalment. We are looking at ways to provide extra value to our ticket holders in the meantime as compensation, while still being able to bring the festival back in 2021.
We deeply regret the impact this may have on some of our ticket holders and hope you can understand the difficult position we are faced with. If you need to discuss this with someone directly, please contact Brianna or Erin.
When the decision was made to postpone the festival, we spoke immediately with our funding partners and key stakeholders to ensure they could join us moving forward, as they are also (along with you, our ticket holders) critical in the future success of the festival. There were some critical dates for many of them that we needed to avoid, and as such October/November was not an option for the rescheduled event. We know that many businesses are incredibly busy in the lead up to Christmas, and any earlier in the year would leave us too close to the pandemic and the potential for issues to still be unresolved.
We also know we’d be competing with other rescheduled events, many of which are slotting into the period between August and November. Instead, we’ve kept to a time of year that generally works for our local host industry and you, our attendees. We know it’s a long way off, but there’s some exciting things in the pipeline to keep you engaged, learning and inspired while we wait it out. Stay tuned!
A lot of work had gone into the 2020 festival. We were just two weeks out from bringing you an another epic event. And this won’t change in 2021. A lot of the ground work can be transferred to the next event, and we aim to bring you another awesome line-up of inspiring keynotes and workshops in 2021. And while the festival will still go biennial from that point forward, the aim is to inject some great Emergence Creative Projects into the off years, starting this week.
This week, the Creative Corner will launch the first of many virtual sessions, with the aim of keeping all of us who are in isolation (or practicing safe social distancing) the opportunity to still engage with other creatives around Australia, learn, and be inspired. More information will be announced about this shortly (register your interest for the first event this week.)
Also next week, one of our local artists and Emergence Creative Aslumni, Ian Mutch, is commencing work on a new mural in the Margaret River Main Street, which would have been completed during the festival. Ian is teaming up with two other local artists, Jack Bromell and Sandra Hill, for an incredible collaborative piece. Check out the progress via our social channels.
With your support, Emergence Creative will get through this challenging time and come out the other side. We’re glad you’re joining us for the ride.