We promised earlier we would update you as soon as we could regarding HEFF 2020 and Covid-19.
Our preferred option still remains to go ahead with the event, and we are hopeful that this will be possible. Many events due to run between April and July at Newark Showground have been rebooked for August. We will continue with essential preparations like recruiting crew and completing documentation needed for the event licence. Our workshop planning is nearly complete.
Things are still uncertain with the government having extended restrictions for at least a further 3 weeks. We will have to follow government health guidelines at the time of the event. Behind the scenes the directors have been making plans either to continue with the event, or to provide ticket holders with a refund of as much of the ticket price as possible if we are forced to cancel.
We have had a discussion with Newark Showground regarding both the deposit money we have already paid, and the future payments due to them, the next of which was due on 1st May. They have agreed to hold our dates for us without us paying them anything further until it is more certain that we can go ahead. We have asked, but they are not willing to return any of the deposit money. The directors froze all outgoing payments in March once it was clear that there was a risk we might not be able to go ahead. This means that at present we have not paid for things such as accessible showers, film licencing, or any deposits to secure bands. We will not now do so until the situation is clearer. This may mean that some facilities are restricted this year. There will also be a heavy workload on the team in the few weeks before the event.
If we have to cancel it will not be possible to make a full refund of the ticket purchases. This is because some money has been paid out as deposits well in advance, primarily for marquees, and the showground hire. Home Education Festivals will not be able to get this money back. It does not seem at present as if there will be any government funding which would help us. Regarding insurance we have not taken out cancellation insurance for any of our events, as it is both very expensive, and carries exclusions which might well have meant that we could not claim in many scenarios. Our policy has been to put insurance for public liability and employers liability for volunteers in place shortly before the event, when numbers are more certain.
As set out in our Terms and Conditions if we have to cancel the event we will distribute all available funds to ticket holders as a percentage of their order value. In the meantime while we plan to go ahead with the event our policy that tickets once purchased are non-refundable and non-transferable will continue. We have suspended ticket sales, and will reopen them nearer to the event date.
We are living through an unprecedented and unpredictable time. As your representatives the board remain committed to getting the best outcome we can in really difficult circumstances. We hope you and your families stay well, and that we will be able to meet you all on August 3rd 2020, or failing that, on August 2nd 2021.