Author Topic: NEAR-Fest XXVIII Cancelled...... Official Notice  (Read 892 times)

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Offline W1RC

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NEAR-Fest XXVIII Cancelled...... Official Notice
« on: July 02, 2020, 09:03:57 AM »
Many radio amateurs and hobbyists in the Northeast already know that the Deerfield Fair Association voted reluctantly but overwhelmingly to cancel this year’s Fair at a special meeting on Tuesday, June 23rd, 2020,

Ben, KB1NZN, and I are Fair Association members and were present at the meeting.  We both voted for cancellation and totally agree with the decision of the Deerfield Fair Association membership who voted 105 to 5 in favor of cancelling the Fair.   There was not one good reason put forth during the discussion in favor of holding the Fair this year.

Especially in these unprecedented times our first responsibility must be to the health and well-being of our volunteer staff, exhibitors, attendees, fairgrounds staff and the local area residents who graciously welcome us twice a year to their community.  We cannot betray this trust.

Furthermore there is no possible way we can realistically maintain the six foot “social distancing” separation especially in the flea market, commercial buildings, forums and VE examination rooms.  This is required whenever possible by the NH Governor’s Special Covid-19 Task Force.

Consequently, as a result, we have no option except to cancel NEAR-Fest XXVIII.   

However the good news is that NEAR-Fest XXIX is already scheduled for Friday April 30th and Saturday May 1st 2021 and NEAR-Fest XXX for October 15th and 16th 2021.

We will be selling advance tickets starting in the Fall.  For advance ticket buyers the cost of admission will remain at $10.00 per person.   However starting next Spring the price of admission at the gate will be $15.00. Inside parking and camping fees will remain the same.  I will post additional information about advance ticket sales in the Fall.

We know this isn’t going to be a popular decision but with the Fair cancelling I think it would be very bad for our community relations in the area if we show up ten days later as if nothing happened, ready to party.  This may affect us later down the road.  I am sure many of the local folks are relieved to know we are staying away this time.....

Also we figure that the attendance would surely be very low and we would undoubtedly lose money.  Better we should wait six more months and return in style when it is safe.

73,

Michael Crestohl, aka “MisterMike”, W1RC
Benevolent Dictator,
New England Amateur Radio Festival, Inc.

Offline k1oik

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Re: NEAR-Fest XXVIII Cancelled...... Official Notice
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2020, 10:05:25 AM »
It is unclear to me why organizations etc. cancel outdoor events, in this case 4 months in advance. The recent outdoor protests where thousands were within inches of each other has not produced a single case of the virus.
With great circulation of air outdoors it has been shown not enough virus germs can manage to attach themselves to others.
Indoors is an entirely different matter.
Burt K1OIK

Offline W1RC

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Re: NEAR-Fest XXVIII Cancelled...... Official Notice
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2020, 12:34:26 PM »
The recent outdoor protests where thousands were within inches of each other has not produced a single case of the virus.

Burt.....

The statistics from the places where these protests and other large group events like political rallies have taken place tell a different story.....

I decided to cancel XXVIII for many reasons but mostly because it would have been very uncool and disrespectful to the local community for us to have all those people from “away” come up there after they cancelled their Fair. Also several people, including some of my staff, have already indicated to me they would not be attending this Fall.  We also concluded that maintaining a six foot separation, especially in the flea market, was simply unworkable. We estimated we would maybe get 500 people at best and that is not enough to pay all the bills. With all this in mind we decided it would have been a lousy fest anyways and I decided it is much better to wait until May 2021 which is what we are doing. 

Don’t forget that almost all of us, including you and me, are well over 60 and considered to be at “high risk”.  That doesn’t help either.  The health factor trumps everything (no pun intended).

73,

MrMike, W1RC
Benevolent Dictator

Offline k1oik

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Re: NEAR-Fest XXVIII Cancelled...... Official Notice
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2020, 01:02:52 PM »
I live on Cape Cod, we have a lot of people come here from many places including New York. It would more of an invasion here than in N.H. What was the rush to cancel, although I see your point  in not wanting to go ahead after they cancelled the fair. The picture might be different in 2 months. WE are beginning our senior softball season on July 13, they had cancelled the season but rethought it.
It seems the politically correct thing to do is in the USA is to be the first one on the block to cancel something to show how PC you are. 
The census is on my butt to get fingerprinted but I consider that far more dangerous than softball, Nearfest or the Barnstable Fair.  Plus the training is inside. Inside is still an issue.
I understand you really had no choice but Nearfest is safer than the New England convention in November which is inside.

Offline W1RC

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Re: NEAR-Fest XXVIII Cancelled...... Official Notice
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2020, 01:23:23 PM »
I understand you really had no choice but Nearfest is safer than the New England convention in November which is inside.

Burt....
You know me well enough by now to know that “political correctness does not influence my decisions.  One of the main concerns the Deerfield folks have with holding the Fair this year was the large influx of people from “away” coming into the area which means NY, NJ, CT and especially MA.  To their perception the NEAR-Fest crowd is also from “away”.  The perception is the reality and we don’t want to upset the locals even if their reasoning may not be the true reality.  I have it on good authority that it would.

I would do your fingerprinting as directed and get hired.  Your training won’t start until end of August any you can decide at that time if you want to work or not.

They wanted me to work now on an operation called GQE......Group Quarters Enumeration.  Take a guess what that is........no way!

73,

MrMike

Offline N1BAC

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Re: NEAR-Fest XXVIII Cancelled...... Official Notice
« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2020, 02:23:57 PM »
Mr. Mike, I totally agree with the decision made to cancel the NEARFests for 2020. I am also one of those of advanced years under my belt (4 score) and would not have come as long as the threat remains. I also hate to see others put at risk!

Arnie, N1BAC

Offline W4KSR

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Re: NEAR-Fest XXVIII Cancelled...... Official Notice
« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2020, 04:41:01 PM »
I second what N1BAC says. Especially, since I know of a few hams here that expressively said that they refuse to wear masks. If the 'fest were to go on, I would most likely have not set to sell. I can't watch over and tell anyone "Sorry, due to the virus, you are not allowed to touch this, unless you buy it". Best to wait until the spring, hopefully the country will have a better handle on elimination of this.
Another reason, is that my 93 year old mother-in-law lives with us. She has AFIB due to a leaky heart valve, and congestive heart failure. She gets this, and she's done for. Also, not to mention the ham population over 60 that are regular attendees.
We can come back in the spring when it will bigger, and better than ever!

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Re: NEAR-Fest XXVIII Cancelled...... Official Notice
« Reply #7 on: July 04, 2020, 12:03:50 AM »
Unfortunate, but understandable. :( This just means that us jammers will have to jam twice three times as hard this coming spring. ;D Hope to see everyone there!
-Adam KB1YTN

Offline W1RC

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Re: NEAR-Fest XXVIII Cancelled...... Official Notice
« Reply #8 on: July 04, 2020, 12:23:53 AM »
Thanks for the support guys!  We will let it lie until next year then decide what precautionary measures we will need to take in May 2021.   I am not going to reactivate NEAR-Fest until it is safe.  We are not going to take peoples temperatures or insist that everybody wears masks. If those measures are still required next spring then maybe it is too early to reconvene the fester.  We are the highest risk category there is.

This means essentially until there is an effective vaccine we will probably not be going back there.  But let’s think positively.......April 30th 2021.