By reading this, we hope you, our OFFFster reader, can better understand why and how your favourite creative events are making decisions. Moreover, we are hopeful that our industry and everyone will recover from this global health crisis and come out stronger than before. Thank you for reading. Keep creating and be well.
Nothing prepared us for the intense and devastating disruption a global health crisis would create. But was anyone ready for this? Many of us hoped that there would be some solution or that the virus wouldn't spread to the extent it had in other places. As the severity of COVID-19 took hold worldwide, things began changing by the hour, as governments tried every tactic they could to contain the virus. Postponement announcements quickly followed, including our OFFF 2020 Barcelona event.
Rescheduling an event, especially a massive one, to a later date is complex and requires the alignment of many partners (sponsors, municipalities, and private venues where we hold our festival) to find alternative dates. In some cases, it's just not possible. We have worked in the creative industry for over 20 years, which led us to understand the financial resources and staff it takes to put on an event like OFFF, an event we built from scratch, which is now a reference worldwide.
There is an ugly myth that events like OFFF make massive profits. Even in the current situation, we are ALL facing together. We assure you that this is not the case. We reinvest every euro back into the event to try new things and make your experience even better year after year. Assets are ordered months in advance. These include service contracts, venues, permits, flights, and accommodation for all speakers, fees, and welcome packs, including a printed book, bags, t-shirts, content curation, line-up, technical team, and a very large, etc. Most of these expenses require non-refundable deposits. OFFF is a 3-day journey for our community, but it takes us a year to plan and make it happen. And in the case of OFFF 2020, that is what happened. We invested every single Eurocent into the event months before.
Today, we feel fortunate because we received the love and support from our former and current speakers, friends, partners, creative colleagues from the industry, and 99% of our faithful OFFFsters. Yes, 99%. So thank you so much. Your love has supported us all the way and kept us sane.
And here comes our blunt and humanized communication: we are not, and will never be, tone-deaf to the 1% who aren't happy. A small yet loud minority, whom we always considered a priority, admonished us for enforcing our policies. These policies exist to prevent any company like OFFF from going bankrupt in adverse circumstances. We are disheartened to hear things like we are "holding your money for a year", or "we are using the current situation to make a profit out of it", and "we are not truly thinking in your best interest". But that's okay because this is still part of our responsibilities, and we genuinely care about you.
"Apologies are a sign of strength. Adversity is an opportunity to show your true colors." — Scott Belsky, Chief Product Officer at Adobe
The easiest way out, unfortunately, as will happen to other events around the globe, would be to close doors indefinitely. But, we chose to go on and not give up because that's what creatives do. We find solutions in any way possible, knowing that we will face a year in the red (financially speaking). We understand that, for some attendees, offering tickets to be valid for subsequent years or offering the chance to transfer tickets to another attendee might not enough. However, we would like to explain that it is a tough financial blow for us, the event organizers, to even offer the options mentioned above. This is why with our direct communication right now, we want to spread this little note to you to understand the overall picture.
We never gave up, and we still wanted to print a memorable book to ship to your homes free of charge because we continue to LOVE what we do. In a period where there are so many things that we can't do, we should never forget what creativity can do. We will not play the victim here because we all are victims in this global situation. The creative industry was the first hit and has been one of the hardest hit. Bookshops, galleries, community museums, live music venues, theatres, cinemas, festivals - all closed. Some may never reopen. The current crisis is impacting all of us in ways that we couldn't have imagined, and none of us is alone in our concerns about the future. And it's important to remember that we're at our best when we come together, collaborate and share.
Today we are extremely happy to offer our OFFF 2021 ticket holders a 360 Virtual Experience during a 6-day event with curated content that any OFFF experience - in person or online - will always provide. Please note that all current tickets will be valid for all 6 days without the need to request any changes. In the exceptional case you are not interested in joining this year's event, just like we have been offering solutions in the past year with every one of you, today we are still communicating that we are offering current ticket holders the chance to use their ticket for the 2022 edition or ask for a refund*.
As you can imagine, under the current circumstances, and as we explained above, this comes as a heavy burden for us. But we have always put our community first, and this will never change. We miss you all, and we worked very hard and put all our efforts to create a unique virtual experience until we can meet face-to-face again. So bear with us, and let's make it beautiful.
With all our LOVE! And see you next May 2021.
* To process your request, contact us at email@example.com before April 15, 2021, so that we can assist you properly. IMPORTANT NOTE: if you have already reached out to us and your case has been resolved, please note that there will be no need to contact us again.