BLUF events and coronavirus/COVID-19

BLUF • events • policy

Submitted by Nigel Whitfield, 10 March 2020



This blog post is based on information circulated today (10th March) to BLUF event organisers, all of whom work on a voluntary basis

Obviously, different governments around the world are responding in their own ways to the new coronavirus. I thought I'd best update everyone with what I think is an appropriate position for BLUF to take:

  1. First and foremost, follow the instructions of the medical and/or government authorities in your country. If non essential travel is banned, then you should cancel your events.
  2. If large events are banned in your area, you should give careful consideration to whether or not your event should go ahead. BLUF events are always going to be much smaller than those that may be banned, but you may wish to consider the risks and reschedule.
  3. In emails promoting events, a useful model to follow is that of MLC Munich (as of today): they advise that their Starkbierfest event is going ahead, but ask that those who have been in a risk area in the last 2-3 weeks, or those who have any symptoms - even of a cold - should stay away.
  4. If your event is cancelled, please do not simply delete it from the calendar, if you have access. We can mark an event as cancelled, which ensures that people who find it can also see it has been cancelled.
  5. It is almost inevitable that those of us organising events this spring/summer will be asked questions. Please try to be pro-active, and find out the current situation from venues and your local authorities, so that we can let people know - ultimately, if we can include information on the website, and in the calendar, it will save you having to answer the same question many times by email.

If events have to be rescheduled or cancelled, we will do our best to let people know through emails and our social media channels, and to give as much notice as we can. Obviously, as a voluntary organisation, we don't have unlimited resources, so we will work on a best effort basis. If there are a lot of updates, we will try to provide an easy way for people to access them on the website and in our apps.

Ultimately, for most people, the decision about whether or not to travel is up to you. We would ask that those attending events take sensible hygiene precautions, stay away if they are unwell, and always follow the travel and medical advice issued by your government, and that of the country to which you are travelling.

Parts of the leather economy exist precariously; there is a very real danger that some of them will find it extremely hard to weather the economic downturn caused by the virus. Against that background, some may argue that to cancel an event if it's not mandatory to do so may not be the right thing. As a voluntary organisation, where most of our events are informally organised, we do not usually have formal contracts and other legal committments that would be broken, which gives us some flexibility.

So, I believe that the safety of both our members and the wider community has to come first, for now. But I also hope very much that, when the worst is over, we will all be able to return and support our bars and clubs, to help them thrive in future.


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