No industry is ever immune to setbacks and disasters that loom large on our personal landscapes. Sometimes, they seem small in retrospect, but sometimes, the magnitude of the crisis is never diminished, and the only thing that matters is survival and managing the calamity with as much grace as we can muster. At RMAF, our hearts have been broken by some of those disasters, but our spirit has always triumphed. We have never shied away from difficult times. Over the years, we have endured many obstacles, including:
- Alan Stiefel’s unexpected death;
- The city electrical grid going down for an hour during the show;
- A hotel kitchen fire that evacuated the hotel;
- No working elevators and 11 flights of stairs to climb;
- Half the hotel closed because the renovation was not completed in time, forcing us to move part of the show outside;
- Tents that flooded and electrical circuits that were blown;
- The bride who hung her wedding dress on the sprinkler head and took out 42 of our exhibit rooms 6 weeks before the show;
- The restaurant running out of food and beverages;
- Last year’s parking debacle
and through it all we had the support of our community, a sense of humor and the promise of stories to tell our grandchildren.
Here in the RMAF office, we have remained calm and quiet for weeks, waiting for the dust to settle around the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown so that we could evaluate the possibilities for our show in the wake of a worldwide shutdown. Even now, some parts of the United States are beginning to reopen, although the numbers of people contracting the virus, and the number of deaths attributed to it are still rising, and the CDC is projecting an even more deadly second wave in the fall. We remain uncertain that this is the right course of action, although we wish it were otherwise.
We are frightened on behalf of our friends in the audio industry on many levels. While the financial health of our exhibitors is reflected in our own company’s well-being, for us that is a secondary concern. The very worst thing that we can envision is for someone to fall ill because they came to our show, whether as an exhibitor, a journalist, an attendee, or a volunteer. Good health is a precious gift, and we are learning that although recovery is possible, the residual effects of COVID-19 can be profound, and we are unwilling to risk even one case. Up until now, we have held onto the possibility that our October show could be produced as planned. After watching and listening to the news concerning the Coronavirus pandemic, and reading all the trade publications, we no longer hold that hope.
We have determined that the course of action that we must take to remain a viable entity is to cancel our show for 2020. As we stated in March, RMAF will be issuing full refunds to those exhibitors who have made their initial deposits. We understand that in times such as these, finances can be a delicate balance, so you may expect to see your refund within the next 7 to 10 business days. If your company issued a check, you may be assured that it remains un-deposited, and we will return it or shred it at your direction.
For some of you, this may come as a relief; for others, perhaps not. Either way, you may rest assured that we are facing the future with optimism and exuberance, and plan to use the coming year to explore new ways of making RMAF better and more enjoyable for everyone! We remain open to your suggestions and insights and look forward to a time when our closely knit circle of friends can gather again in celebration of sound!
Until then, we send you our heartiest wishes for good health and great happiness.
Marjorie and Marcie
Marjorie Baumert, Director and Marcie Miller, Operations Director
Rocky Mountain International Audio Fest
October 7-10, 2021
Facebook: ROCKY MOUNTAIN AUDIO FEST
Twitter: @audiofest or #RMAF2020 or #RMAF
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