It has been a truly scary few months, not just here in Tennessee, but worldwide, as we all have been forced to quarantine in order to ensure the safety of everyone's health. We've been closely monitoring the news to see what steps need to be taken in order to jump-start our former regular day to day activities, hoping that it would soon enough be safe to proceed, based on the guidelines from our local/state and national officials.
It saddens us to see so many people not taking this pandemic seriously and throwing caution to the wind, opting to gather closely in public areas without taking the proper safeguarding of masks and gloves.
This is extremely alarming to us.
An awful lot goes into the planning of an event the size of Monsters & Merriment, and generally spans the course of most of the year to put all the pieces neatly into the puzzle so that they fit perfectly. In addition to myself and Vance Nichols, we have others who contribute much of their valuable time in helping to make our show the success it is.
One of those people is our dear friend Ethan Black, who is currently suffering much more badly than we are during this pandemic, as his father was recently diagnosed with terminal cancer, and has been given about six months' time to live. As you can surmise, his mind and energies are not focused on the show at the moment.
Our show is completely comprised of YOU: independent artists and small businesses, all of whom have been hit quite hard, as many of you were holding two or even three jobs to make ends meet before being forced to stay at home for two months without income. Any extra money is understandably not being put toward booth/table fees for any upcoming art shows at the time, as putting food on the table, paying rent/mortgages, are the utmost priorities. The overall economy has suffered as well. Folks just don't have the disposable income they did prior to the pandemic.
We've tried to stay optimistic about things. First and foremost, the health and safety of our friends, family, artists, and all those who would attend Monsters & Merriment, is paramount. We love nothing better than seeing everybody safe and sound, enjoying our big Halloween event with plenty of laughter and smiles on their faces.
While we initially thought that by the autumn, this frightening thing would pass, history has proven otherwise time and time again: this may only be the beginning before a second (and much worse) wave of the virus comes. Even if we were to implement ultra-mega safety measures, we nonetheless fear what 'might happen' in such a large setting with thousands of people in one place.
While I would sincerely love to be able to say that we are undeniably confident that this year's show will be a go, to be honest, we are just not sure about things at this point. Our instincts tell us to be extra careful, though we are trying our best to remain optimistic.
Is it worth taking a risk? We cannot in good conscience say yes.
A motto we live by is "Better Safe than Sorry!"
It truly breaks our hearts to do this, but we need to err on the side of caution and postpone our event until it has been deemed safe to do so. We are disappointed beyond words that Monsters & Merriment will not take place in 2020. We appreciate your understanding of our safeguarding reasons, and promise to make up for lost time in the biggest, most colorful and fun way we can in next year's show.
Here's to 2021!
That is our one silver lining, shining in what has been a very dark cloud called 2020.