Lorient Festival update

22/04/20 09:00

We know you’ll all be keen to know what is happening regarding this year’s Festival Interceltique in Lorient and want to keep you up to date with what we know so far.

Firstly, regarding the Festival itself, currently (22 April) it is still going ahead; the organisers are awaiting further direction from the French Government & the situation is being reviewed daily.
The organisers are in the unenviable position whereby if they choose to cancel the event they stand to lose hundreds of thousands if not millions of pounds already spent on this year’s Festival, however if they are unable to run the Festival due to outside influences, they may be able to recover some costs via cancellation insurance.

Regarding the Manx participation, there are two elements to be considered;
1. The Manx Pavilion - supplied and co-ordinated by Peter Young (Event Management Solution)
2. The Manx Delegation – festival participation co-ordinated by the IOM Arts Council and Culture Vannin

The Manx Pavilion
Peter has taken the decision under the current circumstances that it is not practical to attend the Festival this year.
Whilst there is a large financial commitment to be taken into account, the overriding thoughts have had to be about the team, their health, the possibility that Covid-19 is still active amongst some of the visitors to the festival and the possibility that we could unknowingly bring it back to the island again.
Peter has made this decision in consultation with and supported by the Arts Council and Culture Vannin.

The Manx Delegation
Following the update from Peter Young, we have received a further update from the Arts Council & Culture Vannin as follows;
We would like to take this opportunity to explain the role of the Manx Pavilion within the larger remit of the Festival. The Manx Pavilion is a separate entity to the delegation representing the Isle of Man in Lorient. And although Peter has decided to withdraw from there being a pavilion this year, it hasn’t affected whether the festival goes ahead or not. It is Peter’s own business decision which we wholeheartedly understand the reasons behind.
We are in talks with the festival all the time regarding their official position and will of course update you as soon as we have some new information.
Your health and safety is our priority and we have relayed concerns about this to the festival organisers.

MYB/MCB current position
We suspect the Arts Council & Culture Vannin are in a similar position to the Festival organisers i.e. they do not want to withdraw their support of the Festival at an early stage and risk losing financial support from them for future years.
Similarly, we have not yet withdrawn our commitment to the Arts Council & culture Vannin as we want to be sure to be included in plans for 2021 should this year’s Festival be cancelled.

However, the health and wellbeing of our members has to be our priority, therefore in what we consider to be the unlikely event of the 2020 Festival going ahead, we would consult with you all whilst taking the following, plus all updated information available, into account prior to making any final decision;
- Would you want to travel? As Peter Young mentioned, his decision was primarily based on the risk of individuals being infected &/or bringing the virus back to the island
- The Chief Minister announced in Tynwald this morning that the Covid-19 peak is expected early in May
- Even if this proves to be the case, any changes in the current regulations and border restrictions are likely to only be made by small steps over a prolonged period
- The ongoing situation in the UK & Ireland will obviously have a significant bearing on the timescales of any such changes in travel restrictions to/from the island also
- On Monday in response to a question about booking a house, camping or hotel in France during July or August, or travelling abroad, French Prime Minister, Edouard Philippe, said “I’m afraid it’s not reasonable to imagine travelling far abroad very quickly”
- Like all groups due to be participating, there have been no rehearsals taking place and we do not know when they are likely to be restarted
- Until the regulations locally regarding social gatherings are relaxed, we cannot start planning for any return to rehearsals

If you have any specific questions, please send an email to mybsecretary@manx.net or text your name & contact number to 166692 and we will arrange for somebody to call you.

Stay safe