Dear FAR-West Family,
In the primary interest of keeping everyone safe during the uncertain months ahead, we are announcing that we have regretfully decided to cancel our in-person conference in San Jose for 2021.
We realize that the core of our annual conference revolves heavily upon the PGS rooms, and we did not feel it possible to achieve, nor was the host hotel able to accommodate, a format which would allow this to take place with any resemblance to our usual situation. In fact, our conference is unique from most, as we have many components of large gatherings in small enclosed spaces. We know this to be potentially dangerous where COVID-19 is concerned.
I want to make you all aware of how accommodating the Hilton San Jose Doubletree has been during this painstaking process. The management fully understands the unique nature of our conference, and the “frustration of purpose” of not being able to achieve anything close to what we normally provide. They have had us booked for 2020 and 2021, and we have terminated both. They have been both gracious and understanding, and look forward to hosting us in 2024, our next scheduled year to be back in San Jose.
In the meantime, our Board will begin the process of designing a virtual conference taking place during the same time period, October 13-17, 2021. We welcome any input you may have, especially if you attended the FAI Folk Unlocked event a few weeks ago. Please contact us here: https://far-west.org/contact/
In addition, many of you have generously rolled over your 2020 pre-registration to 2021. At this time, we are REFUNDING your pre-registration so we can organize our accounting before our virtual 2021 conference. Those of you due a refund will be receiving a separate email that describes that process.
If you are not already on our mailing list (which is separate from our list-serve), please sign up at bit.ly/2PhZZus to receive notifications about this year’s programs as well as receive informational updates on the 2021 virtual conference. Also, make sure to regularly check our website (https://far-west.org/) as we are constantly adding new and exciting on-line events.
We realize this has been a strenuous year in so many ways. We appreciate your patience as we strive to bring you continuous workshops, panels, and performance opportunities we hope you will take advantage of. And don’t forget: The Musicians Relief Fund is available to you as well.
Please stay healthy and safe. Until we can meet again,
Yours in song,