The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

Two global industry events latest casualties of COVID-19


Two more global liquor events have announced major changes for their 2020 calendars.

Tales of the Cocktail – due to take place in New Orleans from July 21-26 – has announced a number of changes after the Mayor of New Orleans advised all festivals in the city be cancelled or postponed.

And in German, the Bavarian state Government has cancelled the two-week-long Oktoberfest.

Caroline Rosen, President of the Tales of the Cocktail Foundation, said in an open letter: “In keeping with guidance from Mayor LaToya Cantrell to postpone or cancel all festivals in New Orleans, it goes without saying that Tales of the Cocktail cannot take place in its regular format in July.

“While we cannot host a week-long conference that brings together thousands of people across every pocket of the globe, Tales of the Cocktail will continue. Though it will be in a different form this year, we are formulating a plan to ensure we are able to honour a nearly two decades’ long tradition in ways that are safe and feasible.”

The team behind the Tales of Cocktail event is working on a plan to digitise much of the show.

Rosen added: “Our greatest hope is that come July, our country might be in a position to enable us to convene in small groups in our favourite neighbourhood watering holes.

“Should the WHO, CDC and all pertinent local and state officials determine small gatherings are safe, we will do our best to develop ways to bring Tales to your communities directly. Until then, we look forward to sharing continued updates on how to experience Tales at home.”

In Germany, Bavarian authorities decided to cancel Oktoberfest, which was due to run from September 19 to October 4. While some parts of Germany have started to relax lockdown measures, large events are banned until August 31 and Bavarian Premier Markus Soeder said they could not go ahead with this year’s Oktoberfest.

“We have decided the risk is simply too great. It hurts, it is an incredible pity. As long as there is no vaccination, we need to be very sensible.

“We are in mutual agreement that the risk is quite simply too high, compromises will not help.”

Edited from a story by Andy Young, originally published on The Shout.

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