Community Events and Covid

What a year 2020 has been for events. Nobody would have thought we would have been in this situation, with no community events of any real size being able to happen. We would usually be supporting events with tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands of visitors, yet here we are in our home-office, writing a blog.

We have been fortunate enough to have one virtual as Woofstock UK 2020 was moved online. A whole day of constant streaming, with interviews, talks, and some top quality local talent, all streamed from a top secret Devon location (Yes, team Diverse Events CIC got to see some live music in person! Don’t be too jealous!).

We would love to be out running real life, in person, events – and the government would let us run one tomorrow if we wanted, as long as it was “COVID Secure”. “COVID Secure” is such a simple phrase, but ultimately is the phrase that has killed the community event this year.

If we wanted to make one of our standard community events, in a town centre, with thousands of people in attendance, “COVID Secure”, we’d need to fence the town in, douse everyone in hand-sanitiser, ensure social distancing is followed, and only allow a handful of people in to the area. Not only is this financially and logistically unattainable for the majority of community events, the event wouldn’t ‘feel’ like an event, with very little atmosphere. Additionally, from COVID Secure events that have happened locally, the majority of measures are insufficient, ignored, or are inadequate, throwing the whole concept of ‘COVID Secure’ out of the (heavily sanitised) window.

We, along with everyone in the event industry, are hoping for a better tomorrow, for a plan to run events again, for a magical solution. What will that solution look like? I don’t know. I do hope it won’t be to fence in outdoor community events, as that would be terrible news for communities up and down the country.