We’ve had a few people asking about the potential impact of the Corona virus on the events. Clearly the situation is a very serious concern. Our focus is on the things we are responsible for - the events we produce and the safety of everyone who attends them.
The first point to acknowledge is that there is a very small chance that one or more events could be canncelled. The government are being understandably vague and using phrases like “guided by the science” to cover for the fact that nobody really knows yet what steps will need to be taken or when. France recently announced a ban of all indoor public events with more than 5,000 attendees. Clearly we wouldn’t be directly affected by a similar decree here - but it shows the potential for steps that might be needed to contain the epidemic.
If the absolute worst happens and we have to cancel one or more events, then we will automatically roll over every player’s booking to the next unbooked event to minimize the administrative burden. Anyone who wishes to refund a ticket, will be able to do so by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org exactly as normal. We are deliberately delaying all non-essential investment for 2020 until after the first event to ensure that we have the reserves to meet our obligations should the worst happen.
On the assumption that there isn’t a ban on public gatherings that prohibits us from running events, then the events will proceed as planned. However we are reviewing our rules and our procedures to see what transmission risks are present - and what we can do to mitigate or eliminate those risks.
We anticipate issuing additional safety advice well in advance of the first event in addition to the other steps that we’re taking. We’ll make the relevant announcements once that process is concluded, issue the appropriate advice, and let people know what changes are planned, and what additional rules are in place for events - just like we did last year when the drought happened.
I’m still hopeful that 2020 will be our most successful year yet. More people than ever before have booked for the first Empire and we’ve got some fantastic plot planned for the first event. But please rest assured that whatever happens we will take the appropriate steps to respond accordingly.