Tales of the Cocktail plans digital 2020 showBy Melita Kiely
Annual festival Tales of the Cocktail has announced numerous changes to its 2020 event due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Mayor LaToya Cantrell has advised all festivals in New Orleans, US, to be cancelled or postponed due to the covid-19 outbreak, meaning Tales of the Cocktail cannot take place as originally planned from 21-26 July.
In an open letter, Caroline Rosen, president of Tales of the Cocktail Foundation, said: “While we cannot host a week-long conference that brings together thousands of people across every pocket of the globe, Tales of the Cocktail will continue.
“Though it will be in a different form this year, we are formulating a plan to ensure we are able to honour a nearly two decades-long tradition in ways that are safe and feasible.”
‘Catalyst’ had been chosen as the theme for the 2020 show before the pandemic broke out, which was inspired by a desire to facilitate innovation and transformation by providing a platform to collaborate and influence the drinks industry collectively.
Tales of the Cocktail has already unveiled the first programmes that will run as part of its new digital format. The festival will host a weekly webinar series, called Full Hands In, Full Hands Out, to bring together leaders in the drinks industry to discuss difficult subjects affecting the on-trade community. This will run on Mondays at 12pm CST.
Furthermore, Healthy Pour will be a psycho-education series featuring Laura Green, Med, LPC, who will discuss the state of mental health in the drinks industry. She will be joined by special guests as she tackles topics such as grief, wellness, anxiety and emotional burnout. This will take place on Thursdays at 3pm CST.
The Tales of the Cocktail website is also offering a list of resources to help those in the industry who are struggling during this time: talesofthecocktail.org/covid-19-resources.
Rosen continued in her letter: “Our greatest hope is that come July, our country might be in a position to enable us to convene in small groups in our favourite neighbourhood watering holes.
“Should the WHO [World Health Organization], CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] and all pertinent local and state officials determine small gatherings are safe, we will do our best to develop ways to bring Tales to your communities directly. Until then we look forward to sharing continued updates on how to experience Tales at home.”
Last week, Tales of the Cocktail announced the regional nominees for its annual Spirited Awards.