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Big Ears Festival

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The triumph of hysteria...

SXSW has officially been canceled, amid growing fears over the spread of coronavirus. As of Friday afternoon, there have been 17 confirmed cases in Texas, where the annual entertainment, music and technology festival takes place.

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9 hours ago, kh1958 said:

The triumph of hysteria...

SXSW has officially been canceled, amid growing fears over the spread of coronavirus. As of Friday afternoon, there have been 17 confirmed cases in Texas, where the annual entertainment, music and technology festival takes place.

This has me worried about the fate of Big Ears. If they can cancel a massive festival like SXSW, they can cancel this.

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A more sensible response:

Festival International de Louisiane
March 6, 2020
From the Desk of Scott Feehan
Executive Director, 
Festival International de Louisiane
Re: Coronavirus


To all Festival Supporters, patrons, and the entire Lafayette community,
I wanted to take a moment to share our thoughts and position about the current Coronavirus, COVID-19, situation, as it pertains to Festival International de Louisiane.
With Festival being 47 days away, we are monitoring the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as Louisiana Department of Health's websites for daily updates and are heeding their advice on proactive measures to take.

There is not currently any eminent threat associated with the planning of Festival International de Louisiane. Because of this, we are continuing to plan for our annual festival to take place just as it does every year. We are hopeful and cautiously optimistic that the situation will actually improve between now and the end of April, but we are not assuming that it will or taking anything for granted.

In cooperation with public health officials, we will continue to monitor the situation and prepare for a safe and wonderful event at the end of April. We appreciate the concern from those who have reached out and intend to keep fans and the public updated if there are any changes with the ongoing production.

 

With sincere consideration,


Scott Feehan
 

Executive Director
Festival International de Louisiane

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19 hours ago, kh1958 said:

The triumph of hysteria...

SXSW has officially been canceled, amid growing fears over the spread of coronavirus. As of Friday afternoon, there have been 17 confirmed cases in Texas, where the annual entertainment, music and technology festival takes place.

IMHO this was the right decision.

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3 hours ago, Guy Berger said:

IMHO this was the right decision.

Okay then all sporting events should be cancelled. All malls should be closed. All airline flights should be cancelled. Everyone should stay in their homes until further notice.

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1 hour ago, kh1958 said:

Okay then all sporting events should be cancelled. All malls should be closed. All airline flights should be cancelled. Everyone should stay in their homes until further notice.

IMHO, yes, a lot of the larger events at the very least be cancelled, and there may be eventually be a need to limit use of indoor spaces.

This is a very contagious illness; the danger here is lots of people congregating in large numbers, contracting it, then reinfecting a bunch of other people.  Even if you can't fully contain it, there are big public health gains from slowing the spread.

The "everyone should stay in their homes" comment is a straw man.  Clearly there is a vast difference between being in close proximity with 10,000s of people and walking around outdoors.

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Posted (edited)

As A STATEMENT ABOUT BIG EARS ANDWe have received some inquiries GoGoodbout the potential impact of

A STATEMENT ABOUT BIG EARS AND COVID-19

We have received some inquiries about the potential impact of coronavirus, specifically COVID-19, on the Big Ears Festival, and we want to assure you that we are monitoring the situation closely.

With opening day for Big Ears still two and a half weeks from now, we are continuing with our preparation and planning to produce the festival as scheduled.

The safety of festival attendees is our top priority and we will make prudent and thoughtful decisions as the situation develops. We will, of course, follow the guidance of health professionals and public officials. We believe that all decisions related to producing the festival should be rooted in facts, not fear.

None of our festival attendees – according to our ticketing data – are traveling from countries where there are travel restrictions in place. We also know of no plans to cancel any of the public events scheduled throughout our region – theme park openings, arena concerts, sporting events of all kinds, and other concerts.

The standard industry policy is that tickets are not refundable unless an event is canceled. However, we recognize that this is an exceptional situation, and we do not want any one taking risks that would endanger their own health or that of others, so we will be discussing how we might modify this policy appropriately in the next few days.

We will of course be continuing to watch the situation as it develops and will certainly keep you informed of any significant changes that may occur. We appreciate your patience and understanding – and we wish everyone the very best in these difficult times.

, specifically COVID-

A STATEMENT ABOUT BIG EARS AND COVID-19

We have received some inquiries about the potential impact of coronavirus, specifically COVID-19, on the Big Ears Festival, and we want to assure you that we are monitoring the situation closely.

With opening day for Big Ears still two and a half weeks from now, we are continuing with our preparation and planning to produce the festival as scheduled.

The safety of festival attendees is our top priority and we will make prudent and thoughtful decisions as the situation develops. We will, of course, follow the guidance of health professionals and public officials. We believe that all decisions related to producing the festival should be rooted in facts, not fear.

None of our festival attendees – according to our ticketing data – are traveling from countries where there are travel restrictions in place. We also know of no plans to cancel any of the public events scheduled throughout our region – theme park openings, arena concerts, sporting events of all kinds, and other concerts.

The standard industry policy is that tickets are not refundable unless an event is canceled. However, we recognize that this is an exceptional situation, and we do not want any one taking risks that would endanger their own health or that of others, so we will be discussing how we might modify this policy appropriately in the next few days.

We will of course be continuing to watch the situation as it develops and will certainly keep you informed of any significant changes that may occur. We appreciate your patience and understanding – and we wish everyone the very best in these difficult times. 

, on the Big Ears Festival, and we want to assure you that we are monitoring the situation closely.

With opening day for Big Ears still two and a half weeks from now, we are continuing with our preparation and planning to produce the festival as scheduled.

The safety of festival attendees is our top priority and we will make prudent and thoughtful decisions as the situation develops. We will, of course, follow the guidance of health professionals and public officials. We believe that all decisions related to producing the festival should be rooted in facts, not fear.

None of our festival attendees – according to our ticketing data – are traveling from countries where there are travel restrictions in place. We also know of no plans to cancel any of the public events scheduled throughout our region – theme park openings, arena concerts, sporting events of all kinds, and other concerts.

The standard industry policy is that tickets are not refundable unless an event is canceled. However, we recognize that this is an exceptional situation, and we do not want any one taking risks that would endanger their own health or that of others, so we will be discussing how we might modify this policy appropriately in the next few days.

We will of course be continuing to watch the situation as it develops and will certainly keep you informed of any significant changes that may occur. We appreciate your patience and understanding – and we wish everyone the very best in these difficult times.

have received some inquiries about the potential impact of coronavirus, specifically COVID-19, on the Big Ears Festival, and we want to assure you that we are monitoring the situation closely.

With opening day for Big Ears still two and a half weeks from now, we are continuing with our preparation and planning to produce the festival as scheduled.

The safety of festival attendees is our top priority and we will make prudent and thoughtful decisions as the situation develops. We will, of course, follow the guidance of health professionals and public officials. We believe that all decisions related to producing the festival should be rooted in facts, not fear.

None of our festival attendees – according to our ticketing data – are traveling from countries where there are travel restrictions in place. We also know of no plans to cancel any of the public events scheduled throughout our region – theme park openings, arena concerts, sporting events of all kinds, and other concerts.

The standard industry policy is that tickets are not refundable unless an event is canceled. However, we recognize that this is an exceptional situation, and we do not want any one taking risks that would endanger their own health or that of others, so we will be discussing how we might modify this policy appropriately in the next few days.

We will of course be continuing to watch the situation as it develops and will certainly keep you informed of any significant changes that may occur. We appreciate your patience and understanding – and we wish everyone the very best in these difficult times.

Edited by charlesp

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My attendance is now unlikely.  NC has declared a state of emergency, and I'm in the age group that has been advised to reduce travel.  For me alone, the risk versus reward is not unreasonable, but I can't risk bringing the virus home to my wife.  I acknowledge that flu is a greater risk, but it seems reasonable to adopt a short term reclusive lifestyle to fight the spread while countermeasures are being developed.  Perhaps the organizers and the musicians can get together and make performance video available to ticket holders, should the festival not be cancelled.

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4 hours ago, randyhersom said:

My attendance is now unlikely.  NC has declared a state of emergency, and I'm in the age group that has been advised to reduce travel.  For me alone, the risk versus reward is not unreasonable, but I can't risk bringing the virus home to my wife.  I acknowledge that flu is a greater risk, but it seems reasonable to adopt a short term reclusive lifestyle to fight the spread while countermeasures are being developed.  Perhaps the organizers and the musicians can get together and make performance video available to ticket holders, should the festival not be cancelled.

Randy, you're making the right decision.

I really hope the festival planners consider cancellation given the growing public health risk.  A lot of transmission of this illness relies on close contact which is inevitable in large public gatherings.

I also hope people reconsider "the flu is a greater risk" (which seemed possible earlier when there was a chance this would be contained to China)... this is a much more dangerous illness with higher mortality rates and no immunity in the US population.  Those at risk should be extra careful; those that are less at risk (younger, healthy) should follow public health measures to slow down transmission.

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2 minutes ago, Guy Berger said:

I also hope people reconsider "the flu is a greater risk" (which seemed possible earlier when there was a chance this would be contained to China)... this is a much more dangerous illness with higher mortality rates and no immunity in the US population.  Those at risk should be extra careful; those that are less at risk (younger, healthy) should follow public health measures to slow down transmission.

Ok, what I've heard to date is that most people who actually get the thing will have flu-like symptoms for a few days and then recover in a few more days. Most people, not all.

Not to discount the very real need to contain the damn thing through logical, sound, scientific techniques, up to and especially including keeping one's self out of general circulation whenever sensibly possible, and also not to discount the very real ability of a virus to mutate on the fly (my biggest concern), but it's not yet a killer on the loose, is it? The key thing there being "not yet".

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27 minutes ago, JSngry said:

Ok, what I've heard to date is that most people who actually get the thing will have flu-like symptoms for a few days and then recover in a few more days. Most people, not all.

Not to discount the very real need to contain the damn thing through logical, sound, scientific techniques, up to and especially including keeping one's self out of general circulation whenever sensibly possible, and also not to discount the very real ability of a virus to mutate on the fly (my biggest concern), but it's not yet a killer on the loose, is it? The key thing there being "not yet".

How many deaths do you believe it will take to be a "killer on the loose"???

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24 minutes ago, JSngry said:

Ok, what I've heard to date is that most people who actually get the thing will have flu-like symptoms for a few days and then recover in a few more days. Most people, not all.

Not to discount the very real need to contain the damn thing through logical, sound, scientific techniques, up to and especially including keeping one's self out of general circulation whenever sensibly possible, and also not to discount the very real ability of a virus to mutate on the fly (my biggest concern), but it's not yet a killer on the loose, is it? The key thing there being "not yet".

Jim,

1) Most people (80%) will have flu-like symptoms and then recover.  15% require hospitalization (more serious than the flu) due to difficulty breathing, but will also recover.  5% are critical cases - need to be in the ICU.  This is much more serious than the flu.

2) We have really limited ICU capacity in this country.  If we blow through that (and it's a real risk), then we start facing the scenario encountered already in Wuhan and Italy.  It ends up cranking the death rate way up, from 0.5%-2% to 3%-5%, because a lot of those ICU cases can't be treated.  Doctors and nurses will also get sick and miss sleep.

3) The "not yet a killer on the loose" claim is incorrect... because we have been massively undertesting, the true number of cases is way higher than the official count and doubling every ~7 days.

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31 minutes ago, jlhoots said:

How many deaths do you believe it will take to be a "killer on the loose"???

7, and one to grow on. :rolleyes:

29 minutes ago, Guy Berger said:

2) We have really limited ICU capacity in this country.  If we blow through that (and it's a real risk), then we start facing the scenario encountered already in Wuhan and Italy.  It ends up cranking the death rate way up, from 0.5%-2% to 3%-5%, because a lot of those ICU cases can't be treated.  Doctors and nurses will also get sick and miss sleep.

Regarding hospital capacity overall, this seemed like a really, uh... bizarre analysis:

A longer coronavirus outbreak is the best outcome for the health care system

https://www.axios.com/coronavirus-hospital-beds-health-care-system-310452a7-b78b-4f47-87db-30592be63c34.html

There are companies - national and local -  that are telling their employees to get ready to work from home if enough people get sick to warrant not going out into the office. How insanely reactive is that?

 

 

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20 minutes ago, JSngry said:

7, and one to grow on. :rolleyes:

 

 

It's already 31 in the US.  

22 minutes ago, JSngry said:

There are companies - national and local -  that are telling their employees to get ready to work from home if enough people get sick to warrant not going out into the office. How insanely reactive is that?

 

 

I'd say reactive and not insane.   BTW I'm 77 and at an Ellington conference 2700 miles from home and worrying about getting back.  Not sure it's that funny.

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Reactive is insane, imo. Telling people to go out and come into the office until enough people are sick is wrong on so many levels. If you have the ability to stay home and decrease your risk of exposure to/spreading the virusand are told to not do so because enough people aren't sick yet to warrant it is about the height of idiocy, imo.

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03.11.2020

BIG EARS FESTIVAL / COVID-19 CANCELLATION

It has become clear that we must cancel Big Ears 2020, scheduled for the weekend of Thursday, March 26 thru Sunday, March 29.

Just 48 hours ago, we were optimistic that there was a path forward; but with events surrounding COVID-19 developing rapidly along with the obvious need for urgent steps to contain its spread, we simply cannot move forward with the festival as scheduled.

This has been a tough decision. Not only is the principle that “the show must go on” woven into our DNA, but the impact of this cancellation on the community that makes Big Ears possible — the artists, the festival attendees, our staff and production teams, and the Knoxville community with all of its businesses and workers — cannot be overstated.

We will be offering refunds to all ticket purchasers (assuming you purchased your tickets from our authorized vendor, Front Gate). Within the next day or two, we will be emailing ticket holders with information about the process for securing your refund.

We are grateful to those of you who have inquired about converting your ticket purchase to a tax-deductible donation. This is indeed possible and we will include details about that option as well.

We are very grateful for the kind words and support that we have received from so many of you. We believe in Albert Ayler’s proclamation that “music is the healing force of the universe” with all of our heart and soul. A mere two weeks ago, the New York Times called Big Ears “…one of the world’s greatest music bashes.”  We will be back to live up to that accolade as soon as we possibly can. At the moment, it is too early for us to assess if we may be able to reschedule the festival for sometime later in 2020; for now, we need to pause and refocus.

These are difficult times. We urge you to stay healthy and do whatever you can to help one another and to make this a better world. We’re counting on you.

Please stay in touch.

Peace and love,

Ashley Capps
Founder / Executive Director of Big Ears Festival

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1 hour ago, Guy Berger said:

1) Most people (80%) will have flu-like symptoms and then recover.  15% require hospitalization (more serious than the flu) due to difficulty breathing, but will also recover.  5% are critical cases - need to be in the ICU.  This is much more serious than the flu.

On top of that, a portion of those 15% who recover may suffer life-altering lung issues, which will likely shorten their life, which will probably be lived out on a respirator.

While I do think this is being overblown to a degree, it should not be fluffed off like some politicians are doing. There needs to be precautions taken but this insanity with Purell and toilet paper selling out everywhere is just... insane.

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Very sad about the cancellation, but understandable. :(

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Yes, it is very depressing. I hope the festival will be able to survive.

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Can't imagine what's going thru Ashley Capps mind tonightl Hope they had the right insurance for this.

We went in '18 and '19 but were skipping this year to go to SF for Roscoe Mitchell's Jazz Master induction. Now we have cancelled that trip. Damn!

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Here's a thought, although obviously too late in the game for this year - leverage the whole "work from home" concept and develop a program of streaming content, both from the festival itself and from the artists' homespaces (when they can't travel for whatever reason). Still make physical attendance the best deal by twisting the whole "web-exclusive content" notion on its head by offering live-exclusive content. Develop some kind of goodwill relationship with the local hospitality industry so that they get some kind of a piece of the virtual ticket pie, maybe use that to leverage a better room rate for physical attendees earlier on. It sounds like the festival has gotten enough profile to maybe look for reciprocal tech agreements to make this happen, even to a limited extent.

A festival for forward-looking music should do well to consider an equally forward-looking delivery system. I don't see "the world" becoming "normal" again in my lifetime. Between diseases, madmen, and climate (or is that all the same thing?????), get out in front of this shit sooner rather than later, just do not let your audience be denied. Now is definitely not the time for that to happen.

Lemons/lemonade/etc.

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43 minutes ago, JSngry said:

Here's a thought, although obviously too late in the game for this year - leverage the whole "work from home" concept and develop a program of streaming content, both from the festival itself and from the artists' homespaces (when they can't travel for whatever reason). Still make physical attendance the best deal by twisting the whole "web-exclusive content" notion on its head by offering live-exclusive content. Develop some kind of goodwill relationship with the local hospitality industry so that they get some kind of a piece of the virtual ticket pie, maybe use that to leverage a better room rate for physical attendees earlier on. It sounds like the festival has gotten enough profile to maybe look for reciprocal tech agreements to make this happen, even to a limited extent.

A festival for forward-looking music should do well to consider an equally forward-looking delivery system. I don't see "the world" becoming "normal" again in my lifetime. Between diseases, madmen, and climate (or is that all the same thing?????), get out in front of this shit sooner rather than later, just do not let your audience be denied. Now is definitely not the time for that to happen.

Lemons/lemonade/etc.

Chiming in to say that, dependent on how this plays out, musicians and other performing artists will have to find a mechanism of delivery lest our work go unheard or, worse still, undone. What this will require is both a degree of vision and the willing efforts of facilitators--i.e., those whose work is centered on the process of organization, documentation, delivery, and audience interface. Those of us unlucky enough to be working musicians at a time filled with uncertainty and sudden disenfranchisement are still trying to respond to the current problem and prepare for contingencies. The big festivals and venues are, I assume, reeling from cancelation costs and lost revenue. Obviously some of us can wear two hats, but this is a problem that may require ingenuity, collaboration, and new voices. 

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5 hours ago, Chuck Nessa said:

Can't imagine what's going thru Ashley Capps mind tonightl Hope they had the right insurance for this.

We went in '18 and '19 but were skipping this year to go to SF for Roscoe Mitchell's Jazz Master induction. Now we have cancelled that trip. Damn!

Oh, noooooooo!!

I wonder if that event will be cancelled, too?

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Do not deceive yourselves.  EVERYTHING between now and at least the end of April will be postponed/cancelled, and I wouldn't rule out May & June.

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Great.  I've already missed the Allman-Betts Band and it looks like Maria Schneider (end of April) and Hall & Oates (early June) may be in jeopardy as well.

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