StokerCon UK Announces New Dates
First of all, we hope that you are all keeping well out there and are following your governments’ guidelines regarding hand-washing, travel restrictions, social distancing and self-isolation. These are all incredibly important tools in curtailing the spread of the Coronavirus (Covid-19).
Secondly, we are grateful to the majority of you who, since our previous announcement, have allowed us to get on with trying to save the convention—or at least a version of it—by rescheduling it.
To that end, we are pleased to let you know that, at the moment, we have agreed tentative dates for the event with the two convention hotels of 28-31 January 2021. With events and advice changing so quickly, the hotels have agreed to follow UK Government advice and are prepared to reassess or postpone the event once again nearer the time, depending on the spread and hopeful containment of the virus.
If the revised information holds, then all existing memberships and hotel bookings will be carried forward to the new dates, and you will be contacted in due course to see whether you wish to do that. As we’ve said previously, the convention had already paid over the majority of fees to its various third-party suppliers. We have been hard at work trying to minimise the financial damage and get as much of that money refunded as possible or, at the very least, carried over to the new dates. We have already refunded coach tours, banquets and memberships (less a 5% administrative fee) received so far.
However, when it comes to the cost of hotel rooms, that is a different matter. If you booked a hotel room outside the convention block, then you will have to contact the hotel, or whomever you booked it through, to apply for a refund. Failing that, you can contact the credit card you used to pay for it or seek advice from your travel insurance provider.
At the moment, we now have an agreement with the hotels that all room bookings will be carried forward to the proposed new dates (or beyond that, if the convention has to be postponed yet again). We are currently in discussions with the hotels concerning accommodation refunds and will advise more on that in due course. The hotels are currently closed, and – although they’re hoping to be able to re-open in the near future – definite government information on how this is to be managed has not yet been announced at time of writing.
For those who have booked flights to the UK, you should contact your airline, your insurance provider or your credit card supplier for a refund. For those travelling by train who have already bought tickets, please contact the site you purchased your tickets from to find out their refund policy.
At this time we are in discussions as to what the revised convention will look like, but we will endeavour to do our best to ensure that it is just as exciting and dynamic as the original event in April promised to be. Obviously, there will be some changes to our previously announced programming and one of these is that, as the new dates are so close to Stokercon 2021, we will be renaming the convention so as to avoid confusion between the two events. StokerCon UK, as it’s currently known (more details on the new name very soon), remains an HWA event, and is fully supported by and in association with the Horror Writers Association, the change is in name only.
STATEMENT FROM HWA PRESIDENT, JOHN PALISANO
“The HWA remains committed to this convention in the U.K. with all of our proper support and resources intact. This has not been an easy road for the organisers, and we stand alongside them fully. Although there will be some unavoidable changes to programming, these events are really about the people. I look very much forward to meeting and spending time with so many of my fellow creators early next year.”
In the meantime, the advice remains as per the Public Health England website: Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell and avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean. Wash hands frequently and use a hand-sanitiser or antiseptic hand-wipes and observe basic hygiene by coughing or sneezing into a tissue and then throwing it away and washing your hands. If you have a fever or a new and persistent cough, then self-isolate for at least 14 days and if your condition persists or gets worse, then call 111 in the UK or your local health emergency numbers in other countries. Together we can reduce the spread.
The safety and well-being of all our attendees, guests and staff continues to be our primary concern at all times, and your patience is very much appreciated while we deal with this unprecedented and unforeseeable situation. Until the convention is back on track again, our policy will revert to crediting memberships and hotel rooms forward (as opposed to refunds) while we sort out the amended convention. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause, and we will continue to send out updates as the situation becomes clearer. Please be assured that we’ll do our best to sort things out as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding, and please stay safe.
For more information, visit the StokerConUK website.
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