Yesterday it was announced that FestivAll, the annual arts festival that turns Charleston into a work of art, will cancel all live, in-person events, but will release a schedule of virtual events that will take place during the same timeframe.

Maria Belcher, the Executive Director of FestivALL writes in the press announcement,

“We invite you to join us June 14-28th as our City Becomes a Work of Art and we look forward to sharing in these moments with you. The full schedule of this new “VirtuALL” experience will be available at the end of May, but until that time we encourage you to enjoy our weekly streaming suggestions that will fill your days with art, music, theater, and dance.

It is my sincerest hope that you and those close to you continue to stay safe and healthy during this time. On behalf of the entire FestivALL team, we thank you for your support amisdt so much uncertainty.

For more than 15 years, FestivALL has been synonymous with gathering with friends and family – at concert halls, parades, and street fairs. While we may not be celebrating in person this June, we will still be able to share in the feeling of FestivALL, together, and for many more years to come.”

You can keep checking the FestivALL website for the updated schedule as it comes together. PopCult and The AIR will unofficial join in during that time as we turn the blog into a virtual art exhibit and progam loads of local programming on our sister internet radio station. We’ll also keep you updated on the many virtual events happening in town that week.

This was a absolutely necessary move, and I’m glad to see sanity prevail as our city realizes that it is simply far too soon to safely stage any mass gathering. I also commend the organizers of Live On The Levee for calling off the 2020 season of this great outdoor concert series.

It’s bittersweet to see so many fun and exciting events being canceled this year, but the sacrifice is far outweighed by the safety factor. We can happily attend these events in 2021, and if we’re smart about it, more people will survive long enough to join us then.

There are forces in this country that want to hurry up and end the lockdown for a variety of nonsensical, wrong-headed, selfish and downright evil reasons. We need to resist stupidity and do what’s best for the country, which is to continue to stay home as much as possible to prevent the further spread of this disease.

It’s okay to feel bad about missing out on so many cool events, but you have to keep reminding yourself that your own personal jollies are not more important than the lives of other people.

My original plans for the weekend of June 18th involved a trip to Wheeling for the Marx Toy Convention, getting up early Saturday to head to Columbus for Record Store Day and MEGO Meet, and then meandering home through Ohio with stops at Menards and Meijer along the way. That is not going to happen. The Marx Toy Convention is canceled. MEGO Meet is indefinitely postponed. Record Store Day is tentatively rescheduled for three days over three months later this year.  None of the events I had planned for that weekend are going to happen. I’m okay with this because I know that it’s for the best.

Depending on how many waves of this virus we have to deal with, it could be three years before we can safely have toy or pop culture conventions on a large scale. The longer we keep the initial stay-at-home orders in place, the shorter that period will be. That’s why it’s so heartbreaking to watch the Covid-Lemmings rush to beaches and stores and gatherings way too soon. People are going to die because of this and it’s going to make this crisis last longer and cost more lives.

That’s why we need to be grateful when our leaders act like adults, and do what’s best, instead of encouraging the worst of human behavior.

I am considering publishing a book of the best of Monday Morning Art in conjunction with the virtual art exhibit happening in PopCult during VirtuALL FestivALL. I’ll keep you posted on that project if I can pull it off in time.