1. Why is the Barbershop Music Festival now being cancelled completely?
The decision to finally cancel the Barbershop Music Festival 2020 was taken by the BinG! board of directors last Sunday, 22 March 2020, based on the results of the participant survey. The survey was completed by almost all participating ensembles by Saturday, 21 March 2020, 23:59 (CET).
In the following, we would like to give reasons for our decision to cancel:
The uncertainty about the further duration and spread of the COVID-19 pandemic does not allow for a safe estimation of the feasibility of the event in September. This is aggravated by the fact that ensembles from many different countries are involved in the Barbershop Music Festival and that the developments in each country vary greatly.
Furthermore, we do not want to give our participants and visitors any reason to increase the risk of infection through our event. This applies to travel and participation, but also to the choir and quartet rehearsals, which would be indispensable before such an event. In many countries governments ask or oblige people to refrain from social contacts. In Germany there is even currently a "contact ban" for groups of more than two people. This circumstance makes it impossible to judge from when regular rehearsals can take place again.
The alternative date is shortly after or during the summer holidays of some German states. For many German participants it would therefore be difficult or impossible to rehearse before participation or to participate at all.
The current situation in Germany, Europe and worldwide (closed borders, prohibition of events and worldwide travel warning) makes it easier for participants and visitors to cancel their reservations for the April date at lower or even no additional cost (flight, train, hotel) or to get reimbursed for booking costs. If the replacement date in September would still not be possible due to the COVID 19 pandemic, the circumstances for a rebooking or cancellation could be much worse. BinG! supports all participating ensembles to rebook or cancel the booked flights, hotels etc. at the best possible conditions. Participants can contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The financial risk for BinG! would be much higher in case of a new cancellation in September than it is at the moment.
Finally, the board of directors sees the decision to cancel the Barbershop Music Festival 2020 without substitution - knowing that BinG! will receive a sufficient amount of participation fees from the participants to cover the costs already incurred - as the only sure way to ensure the continued existence of the organization.