The news came out that Festival of Quilts, the lovely FOQ, is likely to be happening this year, and the drums started up and all sorts of rumours began. Here at your website, we believe in speaking to the right people, and in this case we went right to the top and spoke with Anna Baptiste, the Event director. This is what she told us, in her own words:
Clearly the news was relatively promising and if things go according to plan, we should be able to run the show. We are therefore starting to plan with much more confidence and very much hope to go ahead this year. We have secured more space at the NEC (an additional hall, sitting alongside the existing footprint) which allows us to spread out and ensure wide aisles, bigger galleries and feature areas, larger workshops etc.
We are working with the AEO who published the All Secure Standard for Events last year – a comprehensive set of guidelines for mass events to adhere to. There is a list of measures on our website which is being continually updated but measures include the extra hall mentioned above to allow for social distancing, extended the opening hours (9.30am to 6pm), staggered entry times, enhanced cleaning processes, limited numbers in workshops, spaced seating in the theatre and many more. Our priority is safety and clearly we will only run the show if the Government deems it safe to do so. As soon as we’re a bit further forward we will be in touch with our visitors to update them and exhibitors will hear from us this week.
Tickets go on sale on 17th May, so approximately 6 weeks later than normal so we can be confident the ‘roadmap’ is on track first.
We realise that some people may be too fearful to attend, but we also hope that given the speedy rollout of the vaccine that most of our audience will have been vaccinated and will be safe and eager to come.
So, that’s the story so far. We will remain in touch with Anna and her team as things move along, and if we are very good there should be some free tickets to give away once they become available.
Stay safe everyone, and let’s hope we can all meet up again once more at the NEC this year.