Look, I don’t want to be a Debbie Downer about Renaissance Faires, especially after the ruin of 2020, but I suspect I’m going to have to go down this road yet again. I suspect that, even with social distancing, masks being used more, and vaccines being distributed heavily, the 2021 RenFaire season is pretty much sunk.
I know it is pretty early in the year, but let’s look at the facts:
- Thousands of people are dying every day, even with vaccines and better precautions.
- The Federal government believes mask use and social distancing will have to continue into 2022, even with current precautions and vaccination rates.
- People may want to get “back to normal”, but it simply may be too soon this year.
Now then, there will certainly be some events that open up, despite everything. Either they will try to enforce mask use and social distancing (which will be virtually impossible at a Renaissance Faire), or they will simply open as if nothing is wrong. In either case, they are probably making a poor choice, not just for public safety, but also for the future health of the RenFaire industry as a whole.
What it comes down to is this: No one wants RenFaires to become known as Super Spreader events. But that is exactly what will happen, if these events start opening too soon, before our country is ready for them.
This certainly won’t be welcome news for those folk who depend on RenFaires for their livelihoods, though. Many have already weathered the storm in 2020 by taking to online sales, as best they can, but that won’t be enough for the long haul. Another year without Faires may well bankrupt many vendors and performers, not to mention some events, themselves.
Something needs to be done about this… but what?
Personally, I’d be fine with a Faire full of people wearing Plague Doctor masks, with actual facemasks built into them. The social distancing might be damn near impossible to maintain, but it is worth trying, if event staff are truly committed to making the event actually happen. But with state mandated limits on events, even those being held out-of-doors, will it be enough?
Frankly, I suspect that the Faire season is pretty much toast, for the better part of 2021, if not for the entire year. While some events will undoubtedly open at some point, just as some did in 2020, the vast majority of events will not. It is already March, and events are being delayed or cancelled left and right, well into the year. At some point, and I suspect that point isn’t all that far off, most of the events left for 2021 will be cancelled.
See you all in 2022?