Dear Boomers, A submicroscopic infectious agent was all it took to bring down some of the more fundamental cornerstones of human civilisation. No need for floods or messiahs. A virus turned
A submicroscopic infectious agent was all it took to bring down some of the more fundamental cornerstones of human civilisation. No need for floods or messiahs. A virus turned our entire society upside down; a society accustomed to worshipping super-humans, trips to the moon and transhumanism. Nature, in all its magnanimity, can also be disarmingly ironic in the age of the Anthropocene.
On 13 March we published a letter in which we stated that preparations for Boom 2020 continued as scheduled. As we observed the unfolding of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic across the globe, our concern grew to consider the potential repercussions of proceeding with Boom 2020, in case this worldwide situation continued deteriorating.
With the Boom Festival, we aim to inspire and nurture human development. Our intention is to enable a state of ultimate unity – Oneness – by holding a space where people can experience a social celebration, bringing together music, art, culture, sustainability, well-being and knowledge, while immersed in nature. Ultimately, it is an experience of togetherness, closeness, love and peace.
As of now, the COVID-19 pandemic has worsened on a daily basis. Even if the pandemic subsides by July, we must consider that it will take time for society to recover from its psychological impact. This would inevitably hinder Boom from reaching its ultimate purpose.
The pandemic is having severe repercussions on both the organisation and the Boomer community, as it imposes several limitations regarding the festival’s production and logistics, along with restricted travelling for an undetermined period of time. We’re compelled to make a decision immediately.
The choice we’re about to make will disrupt our organisation. Boomers, the people who work in the festival and their families alike; freelancers, artists, technicians, suppliers, all whose livelihood is sustained from the festival’s edition, and particularly its host region and country. We’re confident this is the right choice to make amidst the current uncertainty about our future.
This pandemic calls for behaviour that is both ethical and responsible. Guided by our principles, especially those of Humanism and Oneness, to preserve public health, Boomers and the Boom spirit; following the guidelines expressed in the decree-law n.º 10-I/2020, applying to all events in Portugal which can no longer take place on the originally planned place, day and time, within the timeframe from 28 February 2020 up to 90 working days after the day the state of emergency officially ends, we are forced to reschedule the 2020 Boom Festival edition to the summer of 2021.
Hence the 13th edition of Boom Festival will take place from 22 to 29 July (Full Moon).
It is our belief that before this date it will not be feasible to provide the necessary health and safety conditions to host Boom Festival, neither equitable access for Boomers around the world.
The world as we know it has radically changed in a way that is difficult to describe. As we write this letter to you, there are more than 650,000 confirmed cases throughout 202 countries/territories, exceeding any major outbreak humanity has recently faced. On 26 March, one-third of the human population was under either suggested or mandatory isolation.
We have been told to self-isolate, to maintain social distancing, to abstain from kissing, hugging and touching each other. Events have been cancelled, clubs shut down and borders closed. Our supply chains have shattered to pieces.
There is trauma. There is fear. And fear, as philosopher José Gil once said, “shrinks space, suspends time, paralyses the body, limiting the universe to a tiny bubble, which imprisons and confuses us.”
We’re humans, social beings. That is why we haven’t allowed fear to corner us during this crisis. Instead, we expanded the spatial limits within which fear has confined us: we stood on our balconies and we sang; we organised streaming events to keep music in our lives and we – Boom Festival – teamed up with members of the global psychedelic community to create a new collective online space.
Since the beginning of March, our teams based in Lisbon and Porto have been working from home. Then it was Boomland’s turn to suspend all activities as a result of the pandemic.
Our entire production schedule has been affected. Our organisation depends on ticket revenues to survive and it is that support that has been essentially financing our existence and operations since the beginning of 2019. At the moment 100 people are working daily for the festival. In May this figure was expected to rise to 200. In June, the Boom team was supposed to be composed of 300 people of more than 35 nationalities and those figures would have kept rising until the festival.
The construction of Boom Festival takes several months to accomplish, as we build practically everything from scratch and with meticulous attention to detail. At the moment supply chains are being interrupted, factories and suppliers are discontinuing their services, and the necessary materials are not arriving on time. International Boom team members can’t travel to Portugal. Those who do manage to get here must remain in quarantine for at least 15 days. The overall scenario is crippling the construction of architecture and art projects.
Boomers from the worldwide community (representing 175 countries and territories confirmed for this year) are reaching out to us every day, concerned with travelling restrictions and not being able to make it to the 2020 edition.
We are all facing a tragic scenario. We may decipher it in different ways: from conspiracy theories to lessons from nature, our animal-based nefarious food habits, or even flaws in the institutions which exist to protect us.
It is a disaster at both local and planetary scale, at individual and collective levels. The unknown is sabotaging our present and holding our future hostage.
We’re dealing with an unanticipated phenomenon, which has shattered our notion of a world we thought was tamed by knowledge and algorithms. The superhuman narrative has to come to an end.
Unfortunately, the year of 2020 isn’t meant for festivals or superb moments on the dance floor with friends from the across the planet. This year is meant for reflection, regenerating ourselves and, most of all, cooperation. We must more than ever trust human knowledge to find a cure. We have to create new paradigms. This will be the year to become attentive to what Yuval Noah Harari sums up as: “In this time of crisis, we face two particularly important choices. The first is between totalitarian surveillance and citizen empowerment. The second is between nationalist isolation and global solidarity.”
Let’s never loose hope of finding a silver lining. COVID-19 has undoubtedly become an eye-opener. It has already taught us new ways of thinking about our lifestyles. Pollution reduction and its benefits are becoming evident. Confinement encourages us to learn about self-sufficiency and resilience. It also pushes us to search for local solutions to supply chains. It might even help us to realise it is possible to break away from mindless consumerism, and that an act of solidarity is more valuable than the latest gadget.
We’re also witnessing rampant humour through memes, videos and visual art, showing that human beings, beyond helping each other, are also capable of finding beauty and laughter in the direst of times. We should be confident in our future as a species.
In that same way, we believe that your support will keep Boom Festival alive, as an independent cultural project that subsists on ticket revenues alone. This has been and will keep being a very difficult period. Boom 2020 would have been the best edition so far. Boom 2021 will be not only that, but also a major celebration of our humanity.
From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for your support. Muito Obrigado(a).
22 (Thursday) 1:00 pm - 29 (Thursday) 6:00 pm