Exactly one month ago, I communicated to all member choirs that the MCAA Committee had decided to cancel the proposed festival on the weekend of 30th – 31st October 2021 with a view to deferring it, yet again, to the weekend of 30th April – 1st May 2022, still in Sydney at the Sydney Town Hall.
The committee met via Zoom on Friday 9th July 2021 to consider the Terms and Conditions stipulated by the Sydney Town Hall when they confirmed the availability of 1st May 2022 for our festival, and to reflect upon the current Covid-19 situation especially in Sydney and NSW and contingent effects on other jurisdictions.
The committee decided as follows:
- To cancel the deferred festival proposed for the weekend of Saturday 30th April to Sunday 1st May 2022 in Sydney at the Sydney Town Hall; and
- To continue to monitor the Covid-19 situation across Australia via periodic (at least three monthly) committee meetings in order to determine a clear and safe way forward in planning the next festival in Sydney.
The committee discussed the following elements at length:
- The timelines and deposit amount in the Sydney Town Hall’s contract especially as they impacted on cancellation policies and potential forfeiture amounts;
- The remaining time before May 2022 and allowing current Covid-19 policies, vaccination rates and border closure decisions to play out before making any further decision;
- Concern that the committee was neglecting its raison d’étre of organizing a triennial festival;
- Reflecting upon the impacts of further possible lengthy delays on the membership, makeup and interest levels of the MCAA’s member choirs; and
- Overall risk management considerations and the need to provide levels of certainty especially for interstate member choirs.
The committee voted in favour of Motion 1 above by majority vote. Motion 2 was supported unanimously.
The brilliant work and efforts of the Sydney Organising Committee (SOC) include parameters encompassing delays and cancellations. The MCAA Committee will continue to be advised by the SOC.
My assumption of the MCAA President’s position in March 2020 coincided with the beginnings of suspension of activities and lockdowns. I had not contemplated the possibility of presiding over a committee that needed to cancel/defer its own festival of song, not just once but now three times! Such are the challenges we face. I trust that you can all continue to work with and through the MCAA Committee as we socially cooperate to see a viable solution that will enable us to organize our next festival.
12th July 2021