It’s so good to see some aspects of life starting to get back to normal, but the events industry remains, for obvious reasons, near the back of the queue.
For our remaining 2020 events, it’s still impossible to plan or prepare properly, and when/if we do get a green light it looks certain that we won’t be able to deliver the events as we’ve done previously, and definitely not as we described or advertised them originally. There are so many considerations for participants, crew, staff, and exhibitors, and also issues around services, permissions, insurance, community feelings and more.
… the bad news
We’re very sad to say it, but TweedLove 2020 is off – it will now all happen in 2021. That includes TweedLove Festival 2020 weekend, our enduros and all our other currently programmed 2020 bike events. Our big 10th birthday year will now take place in 2021 – so we’ll just turn everything up to 11 next year instead! (See below for all the dates and details.)
Transfers, refunds, vouchers…
If you had signed up for one of our events in 2020 you will have received an email from SiEntries or Eventbrite depending on what event you had signed up for;
- Frog Bikes Family Day
- TweedLove Bike Festival
- The Bosch eMTB Challenge
- Cycle Law Scotland Skinny Tweed (issued on 1 June 2020)
- Triple Crown Enduro Series
- King and Queen of the Hill
- Glentress Seven (issued on 1 June 2020)
This email will detail all the options for transfers, refunds and vouchers and how to claim these. If you haven’t received an email, but should have, drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
And the good news?
Well, once we hear what the rules will be for events (later this year), we’re hoping to organise an event or two to celebrate the brighter days ahead. Whatever we are able to do, it won’t be a replica of any event we’ve done before, but it’ll still be a chance to have a cracking time and ride bikes on some great trails and routes. Of course, it can only happen if all the authorities, our community, volunteers, crew – and you – agree it’s a good idea – fingers crossed.
Below are all the dates for the full TweedLove 2021 calendar and we’re delighted to say that if you want to get involved with something else next year too, they will all be on sale on Friday 24 July 2020 right here at tweedlove.com
Here’s a statement we gave to the media:
TweedLove 2020 is over before it began. Bring on 2021.
To say we’re gutted doesn’t start to cover it, especially as we can see signs of ‘normal’ life appearing all around us, but we now have no choice and are cancelling our entire 2020 events programme. We’ve re-jigged the dates and will have a much happier and healthier time in 2021 instead.
2020 was meant to be our big party year, celebrating 10 years of TweedLove ‘riding bikes and good times’ here in what we proudly believe is the UK’s best bike-riding destination – but a very unwelcome visitor has truly put an end to the fun. Yes we’ll turn all the good stuff up to 11 next year, but meantime we need to show our new cohabitant the door.
Some will ask the wisdom of shutting down our events just as restrictions are easing, but there are two important parts to the decision.
First, the factual stuff: We’re waiting for further guidance (from the Scottish Government or others) on participant number restrictions, social distancing, regulation of toilets and catering, local authority permissions and rules, Forestry access and regulations, travel advice, accommodation-provider availability and so much more. We’ve not been able to properly advertise most of our events and of course, even people in a financially stable position are reluctant to commit to plans now – so it’s unlikely attendance numbers would even cover our (increased) costs now.
Secondly, the common sense bit: Our events attract thousands of people to the Tweed Valley every year, from other parts of the UK and quite a few from abroad. While there could undoubtedly be commercial benefit for local businesses in going ahead, even with reduced numbers, as a team we believe it’s still way too soon to encourage a large number of people to come here all at the same time. Our infection numbers in Scotland and the Borders are successfully going down, and we need to consolidate that shift – not risk reversing it. Telling people not to come here doesn’t come easily, it’s the exact opposite of what we’ve been doing for the last ten years, but let’s get it right now so when we can all enjoy a safer time together as soon as possible.
The ‘together’ word is important for us. There’s been a lot of talk of ‘virtual events’ and ‘moving online’ in the events industry recently, with leaders telling us we need to be clever and do more online to keep our businesses alive. While that may work in some situations, it’s not what we’re about, or why we started doing this in the first place.
We believe events are about the magic stuff that happens when people are together – not on screens, but feeling things actually together in person, sharing live experiences with others at the same time and in the same place. Events, and races, are about emotions – the elations, the struggles, the fears, and all the special stuff you can only get by being part of something at an event with a big bunch of other human beings reacting alongside you. That’s a big part of why we put on events, and why we want to get back to normal as soon as possible.
In the meantime, everyone who’s entered one of our events for this year will receive an email about the cancellation, and we hope as many as possible will stick with us until next year. The events industry has been truly savaged by Covid, from organisers and ticket agents to timing companies and pizza vans, so please keep your event and race places for next year if you can – it will really make a difference over what’s going to be a tough time from now until next Spring for many of us.
On a brighter note
If things change then maybe we can put together some ‘Goodbye Covid, please close the door behind you’ events later in the year. We’ll have to wait and see, but the chance to be with friends, doing something we all love, safely, seems like something warm and fuzzy we can all look forward to. I expect we still have some work to do, together, in getting there.
Thank you for your ongoing support at such an unsure time for everyone.
The TweedLove Team