Festivals and concerts have been canceled everywhere around the world to try and reduce the spread of COVID-19, but with lockdowns easing up there’s one gearing up in the hope of being the first socially distanced festival to take place this summer.
The Stendhal Festival is in the works in Northern Ireland and it’s hoped that it can take place at Ballymully Cottage Farm in County Derry over the last two weekends of August. That is, of course, if the lockdown keeps easing up and gatherings can include more and more people, which is what the organizers are counting on.
If the Festival receives the go-ahead, it will be one of the first to take place in a socially distanced world – something that would obviously require some adjusting and result in a festival with some fundamental changes, even though the objective is to have it be as similar as possible to what we’re used to.
For example, no more than a thousand people will be welcomed on the 25-acre property of the Ballymully Cottage Farm, with all guests being over 21 years of age. There will also be a limit to the number of people who can share a tent – a maximum of two, and they must be from the same household.
Health and safety protocols and social distance would be observed during the festival “the same way you do anywhere else,” as Ross Parkhill, Director of Stendhal Festival, told Lonely Planet. “The setting is different, the preparation and facilitation of the measures are different, but the idea is the same”. If the festival goes ahead, there will be floor markings to delimitate where people should stand and cleaning teams will take care of sanitizing every space. There will also be a limit on how much alcohol a single person consumes.
“We are putting a limit on alcohol consumed via a token system,” Ross Parkhill continued. “Meaning that people can still have a good time and enjoy a few drinks but not get themselves to a point where they abandon their responsibilities to social distance.”
If you’d like to know more about the propositions for the Stendhal Festival and be updated on whether or not it will actually be allowed to go ahead, you can check out its official website here.