[Update] COVID 19 Pandemic Response for the 2020 Tournament
Date: March 13, 2020
The board of Southern Fried Poetry, Inc strongly recommends all participating teams postpone their qualifying competitions for the 2020 Southern Fried Poetry Slam. There has been a disproportionate regional response to the Covid-19 pandemic in the United States, and we on the board are thoughtful of how an outbreak might affect numerous elder and infirmed communities in the Southeast region, and beyond.
As part of an international network of artists who advocate for our most vulnerable peers, we on the board encourage you to be mindful in the coming months, and weigh the risks of hosting “non-essential” public gatherings.
The rules for forming a team have always been purposefully flexible for SoFried, so we encourage slammasters to consider alternative methods for selecting team members, such as hosting an online slam. Our rules are online at https://www.southernfriedpoetryslam.com/rules-and-regulations/. We also encourage members of our community to stay in touch via our website. You can subscribe for a free account and receive official updates at https://www.southernfriedpoetryslam.com/membership-options/.
At this moment, we are still planning to move forward with the 2020 tournament in June. Several cities across the United States have banned non-essential public gatherings to less than 250 people, though we hope these restrictions will be lifted in the coming months. In the meantime, we are suspending registration until further notice, which was previously set to open on March 15.
We know that artists, organizers, and service workers in our community will be impacted by the coming economic shutdown, and we want participating teams to prioritize spending their hard earned money on essential items, like food, medicine, (and toilet paper apparently). When we reschedule the opening of registration, we will still give in-region teams a reasonable window before opening registration to all participating teams and individual competitors. We encourage teams to create contingency plans for cancellation, such as purchasing insurance on travel. The host hotel does not charge credit cards unless you cancel less than 48 hours before your stay.
We are a resilient community whose bonds can never be broken. These are uncertain times, and we encourage our community to study using research and reason. People will be looking to the poets for guidance, and we will be a lamplight for many in need. Regardless of the way this epidemic takes shape, we must vow to be there for members of our community.
Stay calm and stay vigilant, wash your hands thoroughly and we will see you on the other side.
The Board of Directors
Southern Fried Poetry, Inc.