What’s happening with Blazing Swan 2021?

The Blazing Swan Committee is proud to announce its intentions for Blazing Swan 2021.

The association is moving forward with planning and preparation for the 2021 event, but are doing so while dealing with new and changing restrictions due to Covid. As such, the Committee will need to ensure the event achieves a number of key milestones in order for the event to go ahead. 

As a community we will also need to recognise that due to current realities, Blazing Swan 2021 is likely to be different to previous years.

The event is still being planned for the Easter period in Kulin, but to meet Covid restrictions it may need to be shorter than previous years with a reduced number of participants. At present we cannot confirm ticket release dates, and recognise that pricing may change based on these factors. We will endeavor to communicate further about this as soon as possible in 2021.

We recognise that there is a lot to do, that there are additional measures that need to be considered and put in place and that we have a shorter than usual time frame to complete all of this. In order to make the event a reality, we ask our community for their support, be it as volunteers, or simply in gifting us your patience and understanding.

You can find more information in the FAQs below, which have been prepared to help the community understand what is happening with Blazing Swan 2021, and the challenges we will need to overcome if it is to go ahead. 

To stay up to date with progress and announcements on the event, please stay tuned to our website and social media.

Will there be a Blazing Swan in 2021?

The Committee has voted in favour of holding the event and are working with our volunteer department and teams to ensure it’s successful delivery. Running an event during a pandemic brings new challenges to our event and there will be things outside our control that might prevent Blazing Swan from happening, but we assure you all we are striving to resolve these issues.

Can the Blazing Swan Association afford to hold the event?

Yes, we believe we can. A team of volunteers has spent many hours going over the finances and based on the figures they’ve put together which include several possible scenarios and safety margins, the Committee believes it is in a suitable financial position to hold the event and remain financially viable should the event get cancelled.

What will happen to my ticket(s) should the event get cancelled?

We understand that there is a potential for the event not to go ahead, and we do not want our community to suffer financially should this happen. We assure you that the Committee is committed to ensuring that the money raised from ticket sales is refundable. . 

The Committee continues to be committed to making Blazing Swan financial viable, and as such we are working to minimise new costs where possible, reuse materials from last year where practical, and organise services such that costs are only incurred if the event proceeds as planned.

When will tickets go on sale?

Currently, we are aiming for tickets to go on sale in late January. The number of participants will be more restricted than previous years, with Covid compliance meaning we will likely only be able to admit up to 1,500 people to the event. This figure is a total amount – so it includes Volunteers, Theme Camps and those in general camping. For context our 2018 event held around 2,500 people.

Due to the additional costs of complying with Covid regulations while only being able to admit a smaller number of ticket holders, it is likely we will be unable to offer as much discount to volunteers as we have historically. There is also a potential that we will need to increase the average ticket price. 

We understand this may cause concern in the community, but rest assured we will only do so if absolutely necessary, and any increase will be for the smallest amount practical, which we will communicate as soon as possible.

What impact will Covid have on the event?

Safety is an ever-present focus at Blazing Swan – we are radically self-reliant and take our civic responsibility and duty of care for our fellow humans seriously. And this year is no different.

What is different this year is Covid.

We will need to comply with whatever Covid restrictions are asked of us for the event to take place. We are aware that the authorities are taking Covid compliance seriously, as they should, and therefore are checking up on events. To ensure the event can go ahead, and doesn’t get shut down part way through due to a breach, it will be necessary for the event team and wider community to follow the rules and guidance available on Covid safety.

Current restrictions include limiting the size of crowds, encouraging crowds to disperse, and ensuring good flow and movement. Unfortunately, as you’d be aware from other Covid restrictions – like WA border requirements, restrictions change on a frequent basis. So we can’t currently specifically answer what requirements will be required of us by April, but you can expect communications on this in the lead up to the event.

What issues could prevent Blazing Swan 2021 from happening?

There are several challenges that could stop the Blazing Swan from going ahead, or impact the event.

  1. Department of Health not approving our Covid Management Plan
  2. The Shire of Kulin and/or the landowner not wanting to host the event
  3. Insufficient volunteers to help cover our Covid compliance requirements
  4. Blazing Swan being unable to get insurance cover for the event
  5. Volunteer burnout

 

An inability to get approval from the relevant authorities is currently our biggest concern and something we likely won’t be able to 100% confirm until a week or so out from the event. This is because the Department of Health is evaluating events on an ongoing basis.

We have spoken to the Shire of Kulin and the landowner, and both seem eager for the event to go ahead. The Committee will be meeting with them in January to confirm feasibility and look to address any concerns they might have.

We should be able to get event insurance, the real concern is what will be covered and how much it will cost. A lot of major insurers were caught out by Covid and some have pulled out of insuring events entirely; resulting in fewer options and less competition. We may have to forego fire effects or other riskier elements in order to get insurance, and we may have to pay more for it regardless but we expect we will be able to get coverage sufficient to keep everyone safe.

Finally, we are concerned about the amount of work we’ll all need to put in to make Blazing Swan 2021 a reality. Within our own event department and teams we dedicate a large number of hours behind the scenes and it is likely to affect our volunteer’s morale should they invest time and effort, only to have the event not go ahead. To help support and manage this concern, the Committee will be doing regular check-ins with each department to help support them where and when needed. 

Ultimately, if we can’t put the event on safely whilst taking care of our volunteers, we won’t put it on.

Blazing Swan is and always has been a community driven event, and this year we will need the support of the community now more than ever. If you all want the event to go ahead, please be ready to volunteer. Be excited. Let’s make Blazing Swan 2021 a reality!