After deep consideration, we have determined that holding a Unifier event of any size on Labor Day of 2020 will not be feasible. It is our intention to return on the Summer Solstice of 2021.
We wanted to reach out and thank everyone who took the time to fill out our recent “Unifier/HeARTbeat Collective 2020 Labor Day Survey”.
Your responses were kind and helped remind us of how important the work and play we do all year has fed and inspired you.
One of the results from that survey informed us that 4 out of 5 of those of us that filled it out, said that you would be willing to take a Covid-19 test 4 days before the gathering, if we only allowed people who took the test to come. We looked at percentages, the possibility of false negatives, the curve in Massachusetts, discussed packages with a testing company, considered the effects of folks coming from other states in New England and beyond.
Our hope was to consider if there was a way to be safe and to offer some form of our gathering with 250-350 attendees. We considered a fiscal model to see if we could somehow break even, what ticket prices would have to be, how we would cover testing the staff, artists and volunteers.
As our desire to be together and co-create waxed and waned and waxed again with each set of obstacles, we kept returning to the possibility to offer something safe, inclusive and achievable.
Last week, after another renter of Camp Timber Trails had to pull the plug on their October gathering, it became very clear that costs of opening up and closing the Camp and its systems would be more expensive than the rents of the groups left trying to have gatherings there. While the Board of Managers of the Camp has not officially declared this, it seems almost certain that the Camp will not be available for group rentals.
In the festival arts, we need some time to prepare, time that we no longer have. And so it is, that in this moment we must cancel Unifier 2020.
During this pandemic so many of us have lost so much. For some, our gardens and our time with our families may be more abundant.
This time of change has presented us with space for deep reflection. Through all of this, we are still here and will be offering our gathering in whatever form the good Earth allows, as soon as safety permits.
It is our intention to return on the Summer Solstice of 2021. All tickets and passes will be honored for next year’s gathering.
Tickets are nonrefundable, so if you are unable to attend the new dates we ask that you kindly donate your tickets to HeARTbeat Collective, or find a loved one who can take your place.
We know times are challenging for many people. For 7 years this gathering has been and will continue to be an offering to the community. We’ve never made a profit on Unifier. There are no large corporate sponsors. We don’t sell alcohol. It’s a service of love. And we have gained inspiration, hope and courage during good and bad times. We’ve weaved together community and given like minded and hearted people a place to refuel themselves, to bring their kids, and to cross pollinate.
The HeARTbeat Collective would like to thank the Mass Cultural Council for accepting us as recipients of a grant that provided some aid in moving forward during this challenging time.
Expansiveness and Inclusivity. Love and Sweat. Rhythm & Creativity. Culture & Wisdom.
This is Unifier. Come get down.
"Every so often a festival comes along and really touches my heart, brings a smile to my face, tears to me eyes. Last year it was Beloved Festival in Oregon, and this year it was Unifier Festival in Western Massachusetts.
It’s a hard thing to articulate, but I think the main thing that struck me about Unifier this year was that their primary focus was 3 fold:
To create a container of reverence for this planet
To treasure the sacredness of human connection
To acknowledge the importance of ceremony as a weaver of the gathering from start to finish
Participants can feel that, artists can feel that, the event producers can feel that and what happens is a sweet, welcoming, intimate, intentional, celebratory environment where you can’t walk by another human without smiling. Body and mind rests into ease, and clarity emerges."
-The Polish Ambassador
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