Last month, we shared an update on how QED 2020 plans were being affected by the COVID-19 crisis, and promised that we would make an official decision on how to proceed by the end of April. We regret to announce that we have taken the decision to postpone QED 2020.
While this development is unquestionably sad, we’re sure it does not come as a great surprise: the last month has only served to illustrate even more clearly the seriousness of the current situation, and the unlikeliness of a swift resolution that will allow the world to return to normality.
Unfortunately, even if the situation were to improve radically in the UK, we feel there is little chance that a gathering of 700 attendees – many of whom from overseas – would be sensible. It is also likely that attendees might feel nervous about such a gathering, or about spending the associated expense to spend a weekend with us in Manchester, amid so much global uncertainty. There are more pressing priorities in the months ahead.
As a volunteer-led, grassroots event, these are uncertainties that we cannot plan around without putting the future viability of QED, or the potential safety of our attendees, at risk. We have taken the decision to postpone QED until 2021, before any tickets go on sale and before any significant costs were incurred with our suppliers that might affect our ability to hold events in the future.
We also feel that an event that could be achieved under the current conditions would necessarily lack the community aspect that we feel makes QED special, and so we have decided against running an alternative QED in October. We will, however, return in Autumn 2021.
We hope you understand our reasoning behind this difficult decision.
Stay safe, and we look forward to seeing you all in 2021.
Alice, Andy, Marsh, Mike, Nicola and Rick
The QED team