To our Wyld Fire Beltane Hunt supporters and ticket holders:
Yes, this is a sort-of "Dear John" letter for Beltane. In fact, it took me a long time to write this letter, because I dreaded writing it. The WFBH planning committee came to a decision about Beltane almost two weeks ago, and with every shared post and every inquiry about the event, my heart sank a little deeper, and my avoidance of reality became stronger. But we are approaching May 1st quickly, and I can no longer avoid it.
Our planning committee is comprised of experienced and creative Pagans, and we have collaborated to assess the event's safety, improve the event's "bedrock," and find unique ways to connect with our audience (that would be you guys). But ultimately, the "nuts and bolts" of all event logistics boils down to me, Ty Siddiqui. Since 2012, its basic functions have always stayed squarely in my hands.
When the committee ran through our initial risk assessment of the event and came up with some spectacular ways to embrace the sterile distance Covid demands, we also created some criteria to determine whether or not we should cancel the festival. Chief among these was making sure that we had enough focused volunteers who could follow through with our Covid procedures. We outlined how many volunteers we needed, along with a few on stand-by in case we lost volunteers closer to the event. Attaining less than our goal meant we couldn't insure safety, which would lead to a downsizing of the event, or outright postponement until next year.
When you take into account the fact that I handle all logistics, that would make me the chief volunteer. And as chief volunteer, I have to say... I am unable to fulfill my duties this year. Covid transformed a lot of things in my life. I am returning to college full-time after a 16 year gap, and start classes this Tuesday. My husband and I are trying to secure a mortgage loan, and we will hopefully be in escrow at the time of the festival. I have also started a new job that I'm trying to balance with everything else. Each of these things demands a certain amount of attention, and the last two months of planning Beltane are also like a full-time job. What I'm saying is... I can't possibly work part/full-time, go to school full-time, hunt for loans and a house part-time, and plan a festival full-time. Something has to give, and unfortunately this year, it's Beltane.
THERE WILL BE A BELTANE THIS YEAR! But it will be a scaled-down event, open and free to those performers, presenters, and volunteers of years past who helped make Beltane a success. It will also be severely deconstructed, consisting of a 3-day camping weekend with some ritual and bonfire hang-outs. We will honor the fae, hang out under the stars, and do some drumming and dancing!
For those who have bought tickets, we appreciate you and want to make sure we take care of you. We will honor all ticket purchases from this year and last year for 2022. We will also take all our classes, performers, and activities planned for this year, and push them to next year, so that we can have more of our schedule planned in-advance. Next year's theme will be "Reigniting the Wyld Fire," and I guarantee that it will be spectacular.
My heart aches to do this, but I cannot do a "half-assed" event. My goal is, and always has been, to serve the Pagan community by providing fun and safe events where we bring together our tribe. I cannot give Beltane the focus it deserves this year. Once vaccinations have swept through most of our population and we have recovered from the "Winter of Covid," 2022's Wyld Fire Beltane Hunt will be like an epic homecoming of massive proportions. I miss your smiling faces, and I wish I could have met some of our newcomers this year. But I promise...next year, I will dance around the fires with you. We will race, we will drink, we will feast, dance, swim, and embrace The Nest again... together.
Please everyone... stay safe, wear a mask, keep your distance, wash those hands, and get vaccinated as soon as you're able.