LondonSWF 2020 (and Festival Week Events) and the Coronavirus UPDATE


UPDATE: We will be postponing LondonSWF2020 until September 2020.

I wrote about this logic leading to this decision last week and you can read that here…
https://www.londonscreenwritersfestival.com/london-screenwriters-festival-and-coronavirus-update/

Since I wrote that, it has become increasingly clear that we will not be able to deliver the festival in April as we hoped.  Among the reasons for this are:

  1. The health and safety of staff, delegates and speakers when they attend.
  2. If we had gone ahead, we would lose so many delegates, staff and speakers due to the outbreak, either to illness or their unwillingness to take a risk, that it wouldn’t be the same festival.
  3. The uncertainty over if and when the UK Government will ban public gatherings meant that we would be taking a huge risk to commit our time, money and resources to build an event that may be prevented from running.

So what does this mean?

The venue has been incredibly supportive, as have all the staff, delegates and speakers we’ve spoken to.  Thank you all.

So here’s the exciting news.

We have new dates 100% confirmed. We are now running LondonSWF2020 on September 4th, 5th and 6th with Festival week taking place in the days leading up to it.

What will happen next?

You don’t need to do anything. You will get an email from Eventbrite with the new dates, and a new ticket. This will also happen for Festival Week events. This is also the same for all Festival week events.

What about the schedule?

We will now run the same festival, just in September. Thus far, every speaker who has come back to us with the new dates has agreed, including our big names. This is AMAZING. One speaker has actually cancelled their September holiday as they want to support the community and festival in this choice. This is remarkable and speaks to the ‘it’s not about me, it’s about us’ philosophy that I hold dear.  All the festival week event speakers such as Joey Tuccio and Scott Myers have also confirmed the new dates.

This new space on our calendar of course will allow us to work more on our projects and scripts ahead of the festival.

We are also planning something online for all our delegates, something to mark the April 17th date so we can all begin our LSF2020 journey in style… just from the safety of our living room! Expect more on this soon.

Make no mistake, for me personally, everything in this email is about the worst reasonable outcome I can imagine.

I had moved the Festival to the Spring so that I could spend time with my son over the Summer instead of in an office. We attempted to take out our usual insurance in December only to be told they don’t cover coronavirus outbreaks. We have spent a great deal of money prepping this event, only to now find ourselves having to ‘wait it out’ and at great expense. And of course we all face the uncertainty of what the virus means in the short, medium and long term.  I suspect we all find ourselves in similar situations, which is why now is a time to come together and look after each and every one of us the best we can.

LondonSWF2020 will happen in September and it will be the very definition of AWESOME.

  • Keep washing hands like mad.
  • Respect social distances of around 1 meter.
  • Get good at opening doors with your feet!
  • Clean the surfaces in front of you (the greatest danger comes from the virus ON objects like tables and door handles).
  • Clean your smartphone regularly.
  • Keep writing (maybe it’s time to clean that keyboard too!)
  • Stay connected online.

I am reminded of a line from John Carpenters ‘Starman’ when Jeff Bridges’ character , the titular starman and alien, says about humanity… ‘You are at your very best when things are worst.’

Right.

Get ready for LondonSWF 2020 in September after we get the green light! Buckle up for unparalleled AWESOMENESS!

If you want to talk to me about ANYTHING in this email, drop me a message at chris@londonswf.com. If you want a phone call from me, let me know and I will call you as soon as is possible. Just send me your number.

Hugs (virtual ones of course) and love!

Chris Jones and the entire beleaguered LondonSWF team
www.LondonSWF.com