Blazing Swan 2020: Refunds

On the 16th March 2020, Blazing Swan notified its ticket holders and our Blaze community that the 2020 event would be cancelled due to Covid-19.

The announcement contained that our next steps were to:
1) Have build crews stop work at JRC, pack down and return to Fremantle;
2) Investigate our finances, stop payments and commence gathering data on our current financial situation so that we could;
3) Hold a members’ meeting to review and discuss Blazing Swan’s current and future financial position.

As detailed in previous communications (www.blazingswan.com.au/cancellation) with the community, cancellation of Blazing Swan 2020 has put a significant financial strain on future events and the continuation of the association itself.

As we’re sure you can understand for next steps to be taken, financial data needed to be collated and reviewed and a members’ meeting needed to be held before communications could be made to our wider-community. As this Member’s meeting has now been held, we are able to provide an update to the community.

On Sunday 19th April 2020, a Members’ Special General Meeting (SGM) was held online in accordance with current Covid-19 restrictions.

At the half-day meeting, Blazing Swan Members were presented with information on the event, the cancellation and the 2020/21 goals for the event and association as well as the impact on the Nest. The meeting spent a considerable amount of time reviewing the cause and effect of the cancellation, and the association’s current financial position, as well as discussing information and legal advice from the ACCC and potential options for, and the impact of, providing ticket refunds to ticket holders.

At the end of the presentation, review and discussion, the membership considered both the legal and moral obligations for refunds as well as the financial effects a ticket refund would have for both the event and the association going forward.

Consideration was made to no refunds being made, partial refunds – either to be made immediately or as a discount for future events, as well as whether to wait and re-evaluate the financial position in 6-months’ time.

With regard to partial refunds, the membership decided that based on current financial status, the amount to be refunded would only be a very small percentage of the original ticket price and the result of refunding would place Blazing Swan in a dire financial position and jeopardize any future events.

The membership voted that, based on the current financial position of the association and in accordance with our ticketing terms and conditions, refunds could not be issued so as to help protect and ensure the future of both the event and association.

We understand that communication of this decision will be difficult for some among our community to hear.

We again thank those members of the community who have supported the event and association. There will be many challenges ahead as we seek to secure the longer-term viability of Blazing Swan and we will be reliant on the continuing support of our community.

This situation and outcome has deeply impacted us all. The lost financial commitment and countless hours in planning and preparation over the last year by the Theme Camps, Artists, Crew Leads, Build Crews, participants and the Committee will be felt for some time. Now, more than any other time, we need to be gentle with each other.

We hope that we have provided enough information to demonstrate that we are taking actions in line with the wishes of our membership, which in turn is being driven by a tough decision to help foster the best chance of having an organisation and event for current and future burners to enjoy.

Much love and dust
Blazing Swan Committee

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FAQs

IS THIS DECISION FINAL?
Yes, this decision is final.
The finances have been comprehensively reviewed, our terms and conditions have been reviewed, advice has been sought from the ACCC and a membership meeting has been held to review all information and based on this, votes have been cast.

To ensure the future of the association and event, no refunds will be made.

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WHY WAS IT JUST A MEMBER’S VOTE?
COUDN’T THE ENTIRE COMMUNITY OR TICKET HOLDERS VOTE?
Blazing Swan is a not for profit, member-run association. Blazing Swan remains accountable to, and is held accountable by, its membership. Part of the responsibility being a member is to determine the direction of the association and event – this is determined through being a member and voting on business of the association.

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HOW DO I BECOME A MEMBER?
Membership of the association is open to anyone in the community. The details can be found on the Blazing Swan Website. https://blazingswan.com.au/blazing-swan-membership/

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WHY DIDNT YOUR INSURANCE COVER THE EVENT?
Prior to the event Blazing Swan had secured event insurance in case of cancellation. However, the policy specifically did not cover the event for pandemics. Despite thorough investigation, the Committee were unable to find any insurance companies willing to provide insurance for the event, or any event, which provided cover for a pandemic, such as Covid-19

You can find specific information on Covid-19 and our insurance policy on the Cancellation page of our website – www.blazingswan.com.au/cancellation.

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WHAT ABOUT GOVERNMENT AND OTHER FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE LIKE LOTTERYWEST GRANTS?
The Blazing Swan Committee has made efforts to secure financial assistance but unfortunately, at the moment, we have either not been successful or we are not considered eligible. The Committee will continue to follow up on this matter.

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WHO CAN I CONTACT ABOUT THIS?
We hope that we’ve answered your questions with the information provided in this statement and the additional FAQs, but if you have further questions, please email tickets@blazingswan.com.au