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- Coronavirus Update 3
It is with great regret that we have to announce that HEFF 2020 is postponed until August 2021 with the exact date and venue to be confirmed. We really appreciate everyone’s patience as we’ve worked to get the best outcome. It is now clear that even if we were permitted to hold an event this year we could not ensure the social distancing needed to keep everyone safe.
We’re now expecting to be able to give you the choice of a 100% refund or to carry tickets forward to 2021. We will contact ticket holders in the next few weeks for them to make their choice.
Please continue reading below for more details.
What has changed since the last update?
We always wanted to give everybody who chose it a 100% refund, but until very recently we did not think this was going to be possible. We simply didn’t have money in the bank to do so.
Government assistance for Small Businesses has been introduced in a very piecemeal way. As we are all volunteers and there are no salaries the furlough scheme did not help us. All companies which had premises liable for business rates got £10,000 grants, but again this did not apply to us.
Finally about 2 weeks ago the Government announced the Bounce Back Loan Scheme which will allow us to take out a loan of about £12,500 to cover the cost of making refunds and paying up-front costs for next year. Ticket prices will have to rise a little to make the loss back over future years. The terms of the loan are very generous and we should be in a position to pay back the majority of the loan within the interest free 12 month period. Beyond this there is a low 2.5% interest rate (roughly £30 a month if not paid off early). We hope that the entirety of the loan should be paid off within the next 2-3 years. Unlike most business loans no personal guarantees are required, so no individual becomes liable if there are difficulties repaying.
Our current bank is in the process of being approved to provide these loans. Once they are able to offer them we will make the application or if they are unable to be approved for any reason we will be able to apply from another provider. Unfortunately this does mean that we do not currently have a timeframe for this but will update the community as soon as we do.
If you wish to support the festival and can afford to do so please choose to roll your ticket over to next year. Remember if you get a refund and then buy a ticket for 2021 later it will cost more. We have added the caveat that the exact date and venue are to be confirmed to maximize our options. It is still our preference to hold the event starting 3rd August 2021 at Newark Showground and hope we may be able to negotiate a discount for this.
For those of you who require refunds we will be working to get these to you as quickly as possible. We will contact everyone who made an order to ask your preference as soon as we’re able to. This will be by email and refunds will be done to the original payment card.
The HEFestivals Board
- Coronavirus Update 2
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.
- Coronavirus Update 1
To our loyal and wonderful festival goers and friends,
We are currently keeping a close eye on updates from the government and authorities regarding events surrounding COVID-19.
The health and happiness of you lovely lot is our top priority so we’re actively making steps to make sure everyone is safe, and at present we still expect to be able to hold HEFF 2020.
We are asking you kindly to bear with us, information and updates will follow as soon as we are able to do so.
Thank you for all your continued support and kindness, we wish you good health in this difficult time.
The HEFF Team