Dear ISCM submitters and/or delegates,
With great sadness, we must inform you that the 2020 General Assembly meetings and World New Music Days festival in New Zealand cannot take place.
Due to global developments over the past few weeks in relation to the spread of COVID-19, in particular the border closures and other restrictions that an increasing number of individual countries have been putting in place over the past few days, the ISCM Executive Committee has taken the unprecedented step of releasing the New Zealand festival organizer – the Composers Association of New Zealand (CANZ) from its contractual obligation to host the ISCM World New Music Days in 2020. The ISCM will soon be contacting you with information about the measures being taken by the Executive Committee in consultation with the Legal Counsel in order to meet the ISCM’s statutory obligations.
The ISCM festival and meetings have occurred every year since the organization’s inception in 1922, the only exceptions being 1940 and 1943-45 during World War II. The New Zealand government has announced that international visitors must be subjected to 14 days self-isolation upon arrival in New Zealand. Furthermore, prudent restrictions on large gatherings, in accord with similar measures that are being announced in most other countries around the globe, are likely to be announced by the New Zealand government very soon.
The unprecedented global crisis we face is clearly the result of force majeure. We are very concerned about people’s health, and we appreciate the only known way to slow the spread of COVID-19 is to radically reduce population movement and large gatherings. In relation to the ISCM World New Music days that we can no longer hold in 2020, we are hopeful of a postponement and the ISCM has asked CANZ if they would instead hold the festival in 2022, with most of the selected works being performed then.
Those of you who have booked the Auckland hotel using the link provided, please follow the cancellation instructions provided by the hotel. We cannot give general advice on flight reimbursements, as there are many different situations depending on how you made your bookings.
We are immensely disappointed this festival will not be proceeding this year, and hope to meet you here in two years’ time. In the meantime, please stay safe and well.
Glenda Keam (Festival Director, ISCM2020 World New Music Days / ACL 2020 Festival)
and Claudia Ruff (Festival Co-ordinator)