As many of you have no doubt surmised, we will be unable to gather this June and July for what would have been Firefly 2021. The Firefly Board in consultation with the Festival Committee have decided to officially cancel our in-person event this year. While it pains us to do so, we feel it would be irresponsible and potentially damaging to the health and well-being of our extended community to hold our event this year, and wanted to let you all know so that you may plan accordingly.
Our biggest concern around holding a 2021 Firefly event is the safety and wellness of our extended community and the communities in and around Bethel, VT. Because we cannot guarantee the safety of these communities in the event of a large gathering, we cannot in good faith organize a regular Firefly in 2021.
Planning and organizing for Firefly begins 7 months before the gate opens, and there are many hours that need to be put in by numerous volunteers. We would like to take a moment to acknowledge those who makes Firefly possible:
- Festival Committee
- Arrival Cluster (Gate, Greeters, GTFO, Parking)
- Art Cluster (Art Grants, Placement, Art Truck, Sound, Stage)
- City Cluster (Coffee Kitchen, Gnomes, Map, Signage)
- Infrastructure Cluster (Accessibility, Bug Builders, DPW, Early Arrival, LNT, Surveys, Ticketing, Transportation, Work Weekends)
- Safety Cluster (Fire, First Aid, Sanctuary, Radios, Rangers)
Thank you to all of the volunteers who create our temporary home and city in the woods!
There are still many unknowns surrounding the vaccine roll out, what the new “normal” will be, and the future recommended safety precautions for events. With these points in mind, we are uncertain as to when will be safe to gather in person again. However, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and we on the Firefly board are considering options for what we can do when it is safe to gather, and other ways we can connect virtually (such as another virtual/distributed Firefly).
The Firefly board welcomes your ideas on how we can safely engage as a community during these times. We encourage anyone with a vision on virtual Firefly events to help create and facilitate experiences that express the Firefly mission “to foster a collaborative environment and community for participatory arts, encouraging people to express their creativity, and challenging them to extend their concept of both community and art.” If you have ideas or would like to help organize online Firefly events, please fill out the form here.
We are also taking this time to ask ourselves how we can use this extended off-season to make improvements, and how we can better communicate and collaborate as a large collective organization throughout the year. Please keep an eye out for more on this in the coming months!
We hope you and your loved ones are safe and healthy, and hope to see you at upcoming virtual events and That Thing In The Woods when it is safe to gather again.
–Carly Nix, Firefly Arts Collective President, on behalf of the Board