Coronavirus COVID-19 position statement for producers and tarders
Issued: 13 March 2020
The COVID-19 situation is an international crisis and it is the small businesses, like all in the #eatfestivalsfamily, that always bear the brunt of a crisis like this. We’re a social enterprise and we need our festivals to work for you all, especially now. We are writing to explain:
1 - how we intend to share the risk;
2 - the special terms we are offering you during this crisis;
3 - how you can assess the risk and opportunity of trading at our 2020 events better.
We recognise that this is always a difficult time of year for cashflow because of pitch fees. The financial effect of this virus and government restrictions on movements are not covered by any event insurance. Thursday’s PM’s statement was reassuring but things can change quickly. Like you all, we’re hoping for the best & planning for the worst, and here’s how...
1 - Back-up plans & measures:
Watching events unfold in France, Italy, Germany, we are developing back up plans for each public-order scenario. If indoor gatherings are banned, we’ll all move outdoors. If gatherings over a certain size are banned, we know how and where we can restrict or contain them. [more on this later.] We have been liaising with all the Safety Advisory Groups in districts we work in. We’ve already provided digital/printable graphics for you to reassure your customers - please use them. eat:Festivals are working harder to adapt quickly to the unfolding scenario and do our best to ensure festivals go ahead with a good visitor turnout.
The #eatfestivalsfamily has got everything going for us! We’re don’t have to travel far, we’re food safety & hygiene experts, we’re mainly open air, we’re proven, trustworthy, award-winning, we’re in the places people actually live, we’re throughout the year... Despite all this, we know shit happens, so here’s a new cancellation & refund policy to see us through this COVID-19 crisis:
2 - If we are forced to cancel an event because of a national or regional safety directive, as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, we will refund pitch fees, in the following manner:
If you are booked & paid for that one event only, we will refund you.
If you are booked & paid, and have future festival bookings, we will credit your refund to your next invoice.
If you are booked, invoiced and the due date is not reached, we will expect a partial payment.
If you have a pitch offer, are in your cooling off period (so no invoice yet), we will not invoice you.
Refunds and credits will be for 80% of the invoiced amount to reflect a portion of the cost involved. [this paragraph has been edited for clarification]
We think it is right that we, the organisers, subsume this risk into our working model, because this virus is likely to cause casualties in the small business world. We want you to be reassured that you can trade with us at a low risk.
Please note: Payment terms will still apply as usual. i.e. if you have not paid by the due date of your invoice we may withdraw your pitch offer.
If you are obliged to cancel due to the COVID-19 virus critically affecting your business, we have extended our cancellation & refund period From 90 days to 30 days: During this crisis, if you have to cancel up to 30 days before the festival, we will refund 50% of your fee.
Please try to line up sellers who might attend the festivals in your absence in case of emergency. If you have to self-isolate, we want you to still be able to make use of the festival.
3 - We are working on some Technical Specs of each of our festivals, describing the footprint, crowd capacity, site permeability etc in detail. These we will post on our website on a trader-only section by early next week. The links will be found on our @eat festivals Traders only Facebook group. You will be able to learn more about the festivals you’re due to trade at, assess the risk of cancellation & some aspects of trading there. Outdoor events are always volatile and liable to unavoidable factors. An enforcable directive on ‘mass gatherings’, however, will need to define clearly the category of events it applies to. These descriptions will help you understand our festivals variations better.
NB if we have to cancel for extreme weather our normal T&Cs apply
If you want to check our 120 and 90 day dates there is a PDF on the hidden website page
Our festivals are a collaborative venture - the more we tell our truths the better the experience will be all round. eat:Festivals aim to connect lives with the land, to make meaningful links between communities and the food and drink producers around them. This year we are hoping to collaborate with some media teams to tell your stories loud. In adversity we are all stronger if we work together!
PS.... we are writing to over 200 of you at once, we may have not got the detail absolutely right for your bespoke scenario. We are human. If you have a query, please do ask, but bear with us whilst we work things through and respond.