Debbie Young, Founder & Director of HULF, writes:
I am so sorry to announce that after taking extensive advice from medical and public health professionals I have made the very difficult decision to cancel this year’s HULF.
I know this will be very disappointing to our authors and audience alike, but I believe that it would be a reckless and irresponsible risk to hold a large public gathering, including authors and audience from all over the UK, with some flying in from overseas, just at the time when the virus is currently estimated to reach its peak in the UK.
I also believe that there is a strong chance that public meetings will have been banned by the government by then.
I was also anxious to avoid contaminating the village’s hubs of social contact: the village hall, the church, the chapels and the village school, which is right next door to our care home for the elderly, by definition a high risk group.
As I’m sure you can imagine, this has been a very difficult decision which I’ve taken much time to consider, but I feel strongly that it is my only option.
Here’s to HULF 2021!
My plan is to resurrect HULF in 2021 (Saturday 24th April – save the date!), and to use the programme that we had lined up for 2020, so that those who had already committed to this year’s event will have first refusal next year.
So far I have had nothing but messages of support and commiseration, for which I thank you all.
In the meantime, I’m hoping to keep the momentum going with some guest posts on this blog from our Festival speakers, so watch this space – and let’s start looking forward to HULF 2021!