The global industry impact of COVID-19 continues to ripple its effect as two more major global events have announced changes for 2020.

Tales of the Cocktail has announced a number of changes after the Mayor of New Orleans advised all festivals in the city be cancelled or postponed. While in Germany the Bavarian state government has taken the decision to cancel the two-week-long Oktoberfest.

In an open letter regarding COVID-19, Caroline Rosen, President of the Tales of the Cocktail Foundation said: “In keeping with guidance from Mayor LaToya Cantrell to postpone or cancel all festivals in New Orleans, it goes without saying that Tales of the Cocktail cannot take place in its regular format in July.

“While we cannot host a week-long conference that brings together thousands of people across every pocket of the globe, Tales of the Cocktail will continue. Though it will be in a different form this year, we are formulating a plan to ensure we are able to honour a nearly two decades’ long tradition in ways that are safe and feasible.”

The team behind the event are working on a plan to digitise much of the show, and have detailed two programs that will definitely take place under the digital umbrella.

These are:

  • Full Hands In, Full Hands Out: A weekly webinar series bringing leaders in the drinks industry together to discuss tough topics affecting the community. Mondays at 12PM CST.
  • Healthy Pour: A psycho-education series featuring Laura Green, MEd, LPC getting real about the state of mental health in the drinks industry. Laura and special guests dive into topics like grief, wellness, anxiety, and emotional burnout in order to give the community tools to get through this unique time. Thursdays at 3PM CST.

Rosen added: “Our greatest hope is that come July, our country might be in a position to enable us to convene in small groups in our favourite neighbourhood watering holes.

“Should the WHO, CDC and all pertinent local and state officials determine small gatherings are safe, we will do our best to develop ways to bring Tales to your communities directly. Until then, we look forward to sharing continued updates on how to experience Tales at home.”

In Germany, Bavarian authorities decided to cancel Oktoberfest, which was due to run from September 19 to October 4. While some parts of Germany have started to relax lockdown measures, large events are banned until August 31 and Bavarian Premier Markus Soeder said they could not go ahead with this year’s Oktoberfest.

“We have decided the risk is simply too great. It hurts, it is an incredible pity. As long as there is no vaccination, we need to be very sensible.

“We are in mutual agreement that the risk is quite simply too high, compromises will not help.”

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

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