BUDAPEST, Hungary (CelebrityAccess) — Organizers for WOMEX, the Worldwide Music Expo announced that this year’s event will go fully virtual for 2020.
The decision follows new restrictions imposed by the Hungarian Government who last week closed the nation’s borders to non-residents in an effort to stem the spread of the virus.
In a statement announcing the change, organizers said:
“In the light of the Hungarian Government’s recent emergency declaration, demanding two locally produced negative tests or two weeks of quarantine upon entry, we realize that conducting an international physical event, in the way that we have been doing in previous editions, would be unfeasible for most of the community involved. We have tried everything to create a safe, accessible and enjoyable edition for the community but with the discouraging trends of the pandemic and the emergency measures and travel restrictions that follow we came to the point where this is the only responsible decision,
“Over the past months, we have been continuously reviewing all scenarios to find a way to give us an on-site event with physical distancing, spacious venues, and every possibility to maintain the hygiene and the safety of delegates, artists and team. This is now beyond our control, and, with Hangvető, we will move to a new format within our original event dates – a format that we are committed to creating to be as human, as inspiring and as useful as possible.”
“We remain humbled by the support we have received over the past months from you, our dear community, who encouraged us not to give up, and to keep working towards serving, helping, and bringing as many of our global music community together as possible. Please bear with us as we go to our digital drawing boards, ready to promote, support and connect artists and delegates in the virtual space. We will be exploring all possibilities of streamed conference sessions, webinars, showcases, films, Awards and more aspects of the new WOMEX 20 Program.”
As a result of the shift, all current registrations for WOMEX 20 have been canceled and all registration fees and stand booking fees will be fully refunded within the next several days, organizers said.