Splashy Fen moves to September as organisers make an impassioned plea for patience and offer partial refund

Splashy Fen organisers Stu and Fuzz (Photo: Screengrab, YouTube)
Splashy Fen organisers Stu and Fuzz (Photo: Screengrab, YouTube)

Festivals being cancelled or postponed around the world have made plenty of headlines.

Event organisers have mostly released short statements that express all the necessary information, but not always all the inner workings that make it all possible to reschedule instead of cancel. 

The people behind Splashy Fen are taking a different approach and decided to write a lengthy post in which they describe why they chose to move the festival to a later date in September and offer ticket holders a partial refund if they cannot attend on those dates. 

Their update comes after President Cyril Ramaphosa declared a state of disaster - following the coronavirus reaching South Africa's shores - and said that no events with more than 100 people are allowed. 

The statement starts off by referencing the unprecedented events that have unfolded around the world in the past week: "The last week has been pretty crazy for all of us for obvious reasons. As organisers, Splashy is everything to us – it is our passion and our livelihood."

It continues: "At times like these, we really need to appeal to everyone to display patience and understanding around the fact that this is nobody's fault. "

Then it moves on to one of two possible solutions: "As a festival we essentially have two options available to us, the first and most obvious one is cancelling Splashy Fen 2020. Cancelling seems to be the norm for many events to date, with little to no refunds being offered to fans due to a legal term called Force Majeure, essentially an act of god beyond anyone's control. In such instances, a zero refund policy is being applied, which is our standard policy as well; however, this does not sit well with us as a festival due to the nature of what we are all being faced with. 

"While cancelling would be an easier route for many, we need to be considerate of the far-reaching effects that a cancellation offers. Consider the artists and musicians who lose all income and ability to work during these times. Consider the toilet janitor, cleaning crew, food vendors, staff and service providers whose income has just disappeared. All these suppliers have essentially had their businesses temporarily closed, as have we. These are the same people who have brought you the fan so much joy and happiness over the last few years at Splashy Fen. This issue is greater and deeper than we can all imagine.

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"Having said that, we have prided ourselves as a festival on ethical behaviour, and a community that has the ability to support each other and pull together during testing times. We feel it is our duty as Splashy Fen to ensure that we continue in some way or form, to ensure that our service providers, artists, janitors, staff, cleaning crew and of course our fans have confidence in our ability to deal with adversity. Let us together make sure that in a time of uncertainty and negativity, we concentrate on creating positive energy and kindness in our lives."

Then it gets to what they have decided on and why: "Based on extensive discussions today, we are pleased to announce that Splashy Fen 2020 will not be cancelled. Instead, all our staff, sponsors, stakeholders and service providers have pulled together to show what a real community can do and we have managed to arrange a postponement of Splashy Fen 2020. "

Here are the new dates, according to the statement: "The 2020 festival will now take place from Wednesday 23 September through until Sunday 27 September, with early camping available on Tuesday 22 September. "

And lastly the refund: "Should fans be unable to attend the new date, Splashy will offer a 75% refund accordingly, in line with our refund policy."