UNITY IN DANCE, SOLIDARITY IN CRISIS
Dear psychedelic community and festival-goers,
This is an open call for dialogue andaction during these uncertain times, signed below by many festival organisers.
Being confronted with the totally unexpected and dramatic string of events that unfolded in the last weeks all over the world, we felt the urge for close communication between all festival teams and we gathered to send out a message to our beloved global community.
We are here today united, to face the most challenging period in the history of the psychedelic festival scene in Europe. Travel restrictions, border closures and lockdowns are crucially impacting our festivals planning and production. The majority of our gatherings are doomed to be canceled or postponed, while only a few of them might be held.
The purpose of this initiative is to let you know how the pandemic is impacting each of our independent realities, and make you aware of what really lies behind the festival production curtain.
Even though it runs for a only few days, a festival production is a 365-day venture. It incorporates everything from the initial planning and pre-event construction, to cleaning the location after the festival is over. This undertaking is entirely financed by ticket revenues. They are the source of the year-round production funding, covering everything from usual monthly expenses, wages of all those involved, investments, materials, flight tickets, travel expenses, artist fees, etc. The period between when the pre-sales start and the gate opens is a dance on the wire for every organiser. It is a strenuous slope that can be overcome only by strict measures and compliance with the budget. With festivals not happening, all of this goes down the drain.
In the case of festival cancelation, organisations are faced with a very tough financial situation. Whether we refund tickets already purchased or roll them over to next year, it doesn’t matter much. These two scenarios are financially more or less the same. In both cases, it’s a one-year revenue against two years of operations. Even if the entire crew worked for free, that would barely cover everyday costs.
Right now, we lie halfway between pre-sales and our events happening. Meaning that more than half of the festival budget is already spent and we are confronted with everyday expenses, installments, and refund requests in the future.
All of the above may lead to many gatherings on this list going bankrupt and extinct, marking the end of the psychedelic festival scene in Europe as we know it.
Psytrance festivals are shaped and created by hundreds of small, independently-run organisations and self-employed individuals. These passionate people dedicated their lives to this, sacrificing their social security, permanent incomes, and a predictable future. Many of the people who breathe life into this scene are also facing personal financial hardship.
We humbly recall, that the reason why psychedelic festivals remain underground realities, even when grownona larger scale and counting thousands of participants, is because their production is run by the same tribe that represents its public. Our managers, office workers, carpenters, operators… are the same people you will find next to you on the dance floor when the main stage blasts. The same people you will meet in a yoga class at the healing area, and the ones who will share with you a small corner under a tent when a sudden rainstorm comes.
This is what keeps our reality alive, what keeps us inspired and what gives us the push to grow higher in art and standards every year.
We know we cannot prevent this crisis from having severe repercussions on worldwide festival organisations and we are ready to face its consequences.
What we are here to ask, is for our community to support our decisions without judging its outcome as a convenient or truth-hiding choice. Please believe that we will not let you down. We feel close to those who are suffering and to anyone who is affected by this emergency.
In the time that follows each of the festivals listed in this statement will publish their decisions separately. Every organisation will make decisions depending on the specific situation the festival is in. Different decisions may vary in the cancelation / postponement, refund policy, crowdfunding and other campaigns. However,we all stand behind what is written here. We appreciate your patience and understanding, and we will do our best to provide you with as much information as we can throughout the process.
To make it through the months ahead, we will need to re-embrace the ideals our scene was built on: Unity, Love, Empathy, Inclusiveness, Oneness and Open-Heartedness. When the COVID-19 crisis finally passes we will return to a different world, but there is nothing that can stop people from connecting with each other through music and dance. We create festivals because it moves us and inspires us. That will not change because of this crisis, it will only drive us to do better.
UNITY IN DANCE, SOLIDARITY IN CRISIS!