What a crazy, bewildering few of weeks we’ve had, as I’m sure it has been for you. We’ve never had to seriously contemplate postponing or cancelling HebCelt before and it has been a steep learning curve, particularly the time pressures which had to be worked through calmly and sensibly. Whilst the majority of our regular festival goers have been extremely patient with us, we know this is a difficult and anxious time for all.
The team behind the festival are just people. Like most of you they have families, some vulnerable, most not thankfully, various financial obligations and unclear futures, but above all they are kind, considerate humans. In addition to their day job pressures they have been helping to plan this festival for months, and more recently trying to grasp the mountain of information that has been coming at them at breakneck speed in order to steer the way forward to the benefit of all. They feel the pain of the decision we have had to take but ultimately it’s for the best for our community in its widest sense.
The news of travel restrictions last week regardless of when it gets lifted (or not as the case may be) was really the end stage. Since then more stringent measures have been introduced and we must as a community heed the advice, shield ourselves and seek to protect the vulnerable in our society. This is ultimately about flattening that curve and attempting to relieve the pressure on selfless NHS staff.
But we hate letting down the artists we’ve made commitments to, and let’s not forget that there is a cascading across other events that we had to consider carefully. We will do what we can to attempt to reschedule the fabulous programme and artists for next year and we’ll do what we can in the meantime to support and promote what they are doing over the coming months.
Shout out to Robert Robertson of Tide Lines for raising so much for the Simon Community the other night and to our own Josie Duncan for sharing this. So many more are sharing some fabulous music and song in creative and inspiring ways which is to be commended. Thank you all.
Ultimately however we hate letting you our loyal audience down. Without you there is no point to what we do really, so we are so sorry, but we are sure you will all understand why this had to be done. We’d like to reiterate that If you have already bought a ticket for this year’s festival, rest assured your ticket money is safe. We will be contacting all ticket buyers in the next few days.
So for now we will stay safe and regroup, perhaps figure out what we can provide virtually, and look forward to HebCelt 2021, which will in fact be 25 years after the first festival was staged. Ain’t numbers funny.
Take care and look out for each other and above all look forward, hopefully this will all be over soon, and we will be able to shake hands, hug each other and enjoy life as much as we did before.