Statement of the Festival Director About the Current Situation
Dear spectators, colleagues, circus friends and all artists:
I have always conceived, built, and shaped Letní Letná on the idea of a great artistic and friendly family picnic. And I wasn't alone which was the most important thing.
We are all well aware that staying healthy is essential to everyone. The speed of events surrounding the virus have made our jaws drop. First, we watched with astonishment how they underestimated the situation in China but suddenly, the borders in Europe and America closed down and now, we can hardly leave our homes ourselves. It's exasperating but it's definitely necessary. A positive aspect is how people's characters are suddenly revealed. For example, we see who's willing to take risks to help others and who tries to profit from the situation, makes themselves look like a hero, a savior, a philanthropist, while actually just making money on it. Let's remember this when the situation is over.
Unfortunately, all the current measures will have a detrimental effect on the entire artistic community and the independent scene. They will affect not only artists but also production managers, the entire technical "army" and consequently, many related professions and services. Suddenly, the basic, fundamental sources of revenue have disappeared and their renewal is nowhere in sight. Not only have all live performances and events been canceled and galleries closed, but many, perhaps most festivals will be affected, including Letní Letná.
We have no idea how long this situation will last, whether foreign artists will be able to arrive, whether we'll have any money for the realization of the festival at all. Still, I'm optimistic. I believe in the unity of artists (and spectators), despite the rivalries, ego clashes and emotional outbursts which are a part of our profession under normal circumstances. This is only the beginning but when it's over, the consequences will have a lasting effect. Therefore, let's try to find a common understanding and search for procedures and ways to prevent the professional destruction of the most endangered artists, groups and institutions, and to keep events, including small and large festivals, alive. It could help us calm down now and restart later. As a festival, we have limited opportunities to help others immediately, but in the future, we can offer free rental of technical equipment, tents, lights, cables, substations, etc.
Let's be disciplined and considerate to others so that we stay healthy. Then we'll have a chance to return to theaters and galleries and see our friends again over a glass of beer somewhere in the outdoors, such as at Letní Letná. We'll all need help, also from you, our spectators. However, I can promise we'll return your support by creating and performing for you to make you smile and laugh and help you restore your optimism. Stay healthy!
Jiří Turek - director of the Letní Letná festival