Press release Hello!Schoten – COVID-19
March 20, 2020
It is with great regret that we have to inform you that we have decided with our Board of Directors to postpone the 62nd edition of the world dance festival Hello!Schoten to the summer of 2021.
As you know, our country has been in an effective ‘lockdown’ since last Wednesday in the fight against the further spread of the coronavirus. Worldwide there are also increasing travel restrictions between different countries, continents and regions. It is far from clear at this point how long this situation will last and that of course entails many practical problems and uncertainty, both for our organization and for the foreign guests we invited this year.
Several of the invited foreign groups asked us, with good reason, in recent days, whether we will be able to organize a festival in July. After all, they must register airplane tickets and apply for visas in time. Since we cannot possibly provide that assurance today, it is inevitable and understandable that some of these groups will cancel their participation.
In addition, both here and in many other countries we are only at the beginning of this health crisis and it seems to us increasingly less realistic, let alone medically and morally responsible, to gather that many people from all over the world here in Schoten at the beginning of July, bringing them together in circumstances that we do not know or can predict.
By making this decision right now, we hope to contribute to the global fight against the spread of the coronavirus and remove uncertainty from the invited groups, our hundreds of volunteer employees, suppliers, sponsors and the public. In these difficult times, we count on your understanding of this decision, which seems to us to be the only right one for the future of our festival and in particular for the health of everyone who is involved in our festival.
Finally, we would like to formaly thank everyone who has contributed in one way or another to the preparation of the 62nd edition of Hello! Schoten. Procrastination is not a cancellation, so we hope to count on your support again next year. Until then, and above all keep it healthy!
Board of Directors World Festival of Folklore Schoten vzw (organizer Hello! Schoten)