The Event and Corona...

Our next - 12th - Event will be in Ghent, Belgium, in August 2020
Post Reply
User avatar
Maarten
Posts: 1437
Joined: Mon Sep 22, 2003 12:31 am
Location: Sint-Niklaas, Belgium
Contact:

The Event and Corona...

Post by Maarten » Mon Mar 23, 2020 3:21 pm

Dear friends

First of all, it goes without saying that I hope that everyone is safe and that you all are aware of the importance of social distancing.
Here in Belgium we've had our first week of lockdown and we're in for another 2 weeks at least (probably longer, I guess), but it looks like we are doing pretty well (all things considering): the day before yesterdag we had 30 deaths, yesterday "only" 8 and now 12... We'll have to wait and see how the curve is going, but the first signs are positive... This week will be crucial to see whether or not we are actually doing good.

As you can imagine, I've been thinking a lot about the Event and the possible impact of the Corona virus... Right now, I really can not predict what the outcome will be. I'm guessing I will be able to make a better judgement on this in 4 weeks time (?). Untill then, I'm trying to keep everything on hold: bookings, registrations, contacts,...

As for now, I have quite a few things that are already confirmed, but I'm sure I can work around these in case we will have to cancel or postpone the Event. Postponing would mean untill Summer next year or 2022 because moving it further down in August 2020 is not an option of course.

Even if Belgium would be able to get control over the virus in the next few weeks and months, it is more than likely that other parts of the world will still be dealing with Corona. This means that even when the Event could go through this Summer, there might be cancellations or fewer registrations than I had counted on. To make the Event break-even, we would need about 160 to 170 participants and I really can not predict the numbers right now. And -let's face it- quite a few of our participants are in the 60+ age which means they will have to be extra careful with travels nowadays...

IF I should cancel the Event next month or so, I'm confident I can reimburse most of the participants' fees so far. Perhaps I would need to hold back 10 or 20 EUR from each fee to cover some basic costs that cannot be avoided anymore, but it will be a strict minimum!

I would appreciate any feedback from you all about your own plans and thoughts on this. If -later in time- you would need to cancel your trip to Belgium: let me know as soon as possible so I can make the balance and see how to proceed...

I would like to point out that no decision has been made about the Event yet, but I'm giving it less that 50% to actually happen this Summer... :(
I will keep you all updated in this thread!

But -again- the most important thing right now is to keep safe, keep healthy and keep distance!

All the best
Maarten

2008 Manchester | Bruges | Amsterdam | London | 2x Brussels | Rotterdam |2x London
2009 New York | Cologne | Antwerp | Venice | Colmar | Barcelona | Las Vegas | San José
2010 Salzburg | 2x Sligo | Helsinki | 3x Ghent | Lille | 2x Las Vegas
2012 5x Ghent | 2x A'dam | Helsinki | Dublin | Verona | 3x Paris | Lisboa
2013 Paris | Antwerp | Oberhausen | Brussels | Pula | Rotterdam | Amsterdam | 2x Wellington | Auckland
User avatar
HugoD
Posts: 347
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2009 12:33 am
Location: Haarlemmermeer /Netherlands

Re: The Event and Corona...

Post by HugoD » Mon Mar 23, 2020 4:34 pm

Maarten,

Thanks for your update, I can only imagine the work you have already put in this event. I sincerly hope that the event can happen but also agree with your estimation of a less then 50% chance that it will happen this year. We only can hope that in this part of the world the worst will be behind us at the beginning of the summer. But as you pointed out, it will spread globally and nobody knows when it will end and people will be able to travel without healthrisks.

Gent 2022 (or 2021) also sound fine to me if the decision had te be made.

Stay safe everyone and hope te see you all in good health next time we meet!
Lille 2010, Dublin 2012, Mannheim 2013, Rotterdam 2013, Montréal 2017
Happiness is just the side effect of a meaningful life.
User avatar
Henning
Posts: 1328
Joined: Thu Jun 27, 2002 1:49 pm
Location: Germany
Contact:

Re: The Event and Corona...

Post by Henning » Mon Mar 23, 2020 5:30 pm

Dear Maarten - the Corona Virus has stopped everything around us like nothing else before and it will keep us busy and in danger more or less for the upcoming year. For several reasons I think it would be reasonable two reschedule the Ghent event in 2022. Even if the situation with the infections will get better during the next weeks, it will take several months for a regular life to resume. Economy will be hit very hard. Traveling might still be tricky. Many organizers of events this year will suffer a big disappointment. A lot of work will be done for nothing. Nevertheless I think you would be quite relieved if we all agreed to delay the LC Event to a time when we all hopefully will be at ease and able to enjoy the gathering without any tension. I would love to join you all this year in Ghent and I wish I was proven wrong with my doubts. But at the moment I am not even sure if gatherings of more than 100 will be allowed in August this year.
IT'S DARKER NOW
1979: Frankfurt | 1980: Frankfurt | 1985: Wiesbaden - Munich | 1988: Munich - Nuremberg | 1993: Frankfurt
2008: Dublin - Manchester - Amsterdam - Loerrach - Berlin - Frankfurt - Oberhausen - London
2009: Cologne - Barcelona | 2010: Wiesbaden - Dortmund
2012: Ghent - Moenchengladbach - Verona - Lisbon | 2013: Oberhausen - Mannheim - Pula
zodkavombie
Posts: 161
Joined: Sun Jul 12, 2009 1:56 pm

Re: The Event and Corona...

Post by zodkavombie » Tue Mar 24, 2020 5:25 pm

Hi Maarten
My heart goes out to you as you have worked so hard to organise this event. I will go with the flow but I have the feeling that maybe you should postpone the event to be on the safe side. I, like a lot of people was so looking forward to it as it was going to be the first L C event other than concerts.
We all need to keep safe and think of others.
What ever you decide will be for the best I am sure.
O2, 17th July and 13th November 2008, Weybridge 11th July 2009, Barecelona 21 September 2009, Lille 25 September 2010, Las Vegas 10th and 11th December 2010, Wembley 9th September 2012, Paris 29th September 2012, O2 London 21st June, 15th September 2013.
User avatar
Mabeanie1
Posts: 2729
Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2008 12:03 am
Location: UK

Re: The Event and Corona...

Post by Mabeanie1 » Wed Mar 25, 2020 3:19 pm

Hi Maarten

First of all, great news from Belgium that there appear to be some positive signs from the lockdown. I wish our stupid government had taken decisive action 2 weeks ago. I fear the UK will be the next hotspot. We just heard this morning that even the heir to the throne now has COVID-19 and our queen will be 94 next month.

We have all been thinking about the event and wondering if it will be possible for it go ahead. I think you are right that the problem might be people travelling from elsewhere even if Belgium is "clear" by early August. There is every chance that flights might still be difficult then. I would be in favour of making an early decision to postpone to next year (though by all means wait another month or so before making a final decision). As those of us who were planning to visit Hydra this June will almost certainly have to cancel, why not just push the “meet ups” cycle back one year so Events now take place on “odd” years and future Hydra meet ups and Walking Weekends take place on “even” years?

Re registration fees paid, I for one would be happy to roll my fee forward to next year. However, if you do decide to repay fees, please don’t worry about the amount of money you might have to deduct from refunds to cover costs already laid out. Personally I won’t worry if you have to deduct €10 or €50 – just make sure you are not out of pocket. You have already given up so much of your time, you should not have to bear costs as well. Having said that, I would hope that most if not all of the people you have already contracted with, whether venue, entertainment or other arrangements, will be flexible in these current exceptional circumstances. If you do roll fees forward one year, please do not be afraid to ask for an extra contribution to cover costs already incurred and possible price increases.

I would emphasise that these are my personal views. I am in the fortunate position that my hotel booking is cancellable and I hadn’t got round to booking our Eurotunnel crossing. Our authorisation for Ghent’s Low Emission Zone is valid until 2024. Others may not be so lucky, though most hotels and airlines etc are now being reasonably flexible.

Thank you for working so hard on this Maarten. Take care and stay safe.

Wendy
JANETMARY
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2017 12:55 am

Re: The Event and Corona...

Post by JANETMARY » Fri Mar 27, 2020 8:41 pm

Dear Maarten
I appreciate how much effort you will have put into the planning of the Ghent event and the prospect of cancelling must be frustrating and disappointing for you. Unfortunately, in these uncertain times it is probably the best thing to do, although I would prefer to use the word postponed rather than cancelled.

I agree with everything that Wendy has so eloquently written regarding the registration fees and refunds. If you do have to change the date or cancel I would hate for you to be financially out of pocket for any expenses you will have incurred so far. I want you to know that whatever impact it may have on the refund or transfer of registration fees I personally don't mind and I would definitely not want you to be worried or to be out of pocket. Obviously it is up to each individual to make their own mind, these are just my feelings.

The most important thing right now is that we all stay safe and well and can come through this awful crisis with love and compassion for those less fortunate. The words of Leonard's song: 'Come Healing' seem to resonate at this time.

Sending you my very grateful thanks for all your hard work.

Love and hugs
Janet x
User avatar
maphoner
Posts: 47
Joined: Fri Apr 19, 2013 12:54 am

Re: The Event and Corona...

Post by maphoner » Sun Mar 29, 2020 11:17 am

Greetings from sunny Ireland!

Maarten, a chara,
I think we all know that the 2020 Event will have to be postponed. A big Dank u for all your work.
I would certainly be happy to make a contribution to expenses.

Let's spare a thought for all who succumb to this disease and for those among us who won't survive to attend the event.

Regards
Tom
of course you say you can't complain
User avatar
Maarten
Posts: 1437
Joined: Mon Sep 22, 2003 12:31 am
Location: Sint-Niklaas, Belgium
Contact:

Re: The Event and Corona...

Post by Maarten » Sun Mar 29, 2020 5:34 pm

Dear friends

We have decided to postpone the Event. For further information, please read the following announcement:
https://www.leonardcohenforum.com/viewt ... 91&t=38878

Maarten

2008 Manchester | Bruges | Amsterdam | London | 2x Brussels | Rotterdam |2x London
2009 New York | Cologne | Antwerp | Venice | Colmar | Barcelona | Las Vegas | San José
2010 Salzburg | 2x Sligo | Helsinki | 3x Ghent | Lille | 2x Las Vegas
2012 5x Ghent | 2x A'dam | Helsinki | Dublin | Verona | 3x Paris | Lisboa
2013 Paris | Antwerp | Oberhausen | Brussels | Pula | Rotterdam | Amsterdam | 2x Wellington | Auckland
Post Reply

Return to “The Leonard Cohen Event 2020 in Ghent, Belgium - POSTPONED”