A summer with no festivals is upon us. Back at the beginning of 2020 we didn't have any clue that this year will be the year of silence all over the world. Now there is no doubt that it will take a while before we can enjoy mass music (and not only) events again. Did the Covid-19 thriller have any impact on KILKIM ŽAIBU festival? Definitely. It surely did and we have probably felt it more than other events in Lithuania.
We were also among the first of the summer open-air organisers to notice it. Namely, our team was the first to consider a possibility of making a pause to focus and take the situation seriously during the first survey for event organisers. We suggested putting the safety of our audiences, participants and teams first, leaving the business side behind. The outcome of that discussion remain questionable – we are not business people and, perhaps, see many things differently. The festival is not our job – more like a hobby and something we just love. That is why we focus on you and the safety of the event.
We have been aware of the fact that hosting this festival at the end of June was impossible for a while now. We did not rush with any decision-making, simply watching and waiting for the situation to unfold. The final decision to move to the next year was made only when we were absolutely sure that it was necessary. Our goal was to wait for the official verdict of the Lithuanian government. But now there’s no point in stalling. The picture is pretty much clear.
KILKIM ŽAIBU vs. CORONA
THE AUDIENCE. We always thought that having 50 % of the audience coming from abroad was an advantage. Now this has turned against us. Regional tourism is currently unwelcome and having a flood of several thousands of tourists is out of question. It would by physically impossible as well. Closed borders and limited travelling would take half of our audience.
PARTICIPANTS. The festival's lineup is predominated by foreign musicians. We have already lost half of our contracts due to cancelled flights. Also there’s no information about bands from the USA. Nobody knows when the US borders will open.
UNANNOUNCED LINEUP. Negotiations with bands that were yet to be announced stopped for the well-known reason.
HEADLINERS. We also had no chance to announce our headliners. Bands are forced to stop their gigs, tours and plans all over the world. When the situation is this unstable, concert agencies and organisers are helpless.
NO COMPACT VERSIONS. We did not even consider a possibility of hosting a compact event without foreign bands. It would not make it up to the name of KILKIM ŽAIBU and worth its ticket price. In addition, we are totally not into sacrificing quality for the sake of doing SOMETHING.
AUGUST – NOT FEASIBLE. The idea of moving the festival to the end of the summer does not sound good either. It would mean that all that we’ve done to this point was in vain, we’d be forced to scramble up a new lineup with completely different bands, reorganise the logistics and, very likely, do more harm to the event. Although our government has not released any decisions regarding this summer, the situation in the neighbouring countries makes it clear that June will not be much different from August.
THE BLOW. We are truly sorry about the situation. We have started preparing for the new and updated event right after the anniversary. It was a lot of work and effort. We already grew fond of the bands that we’ve invited, regarding them as our own. The financial blow is enormous. This is our first time of having losses even before the event actually happened.
THE TEAM. We take this trial with our chins up – dealing with obstacles is nothing new and the team is hardened by years of experience. We’re already dreaming of the next year’s festival – a return that will be even more awesome than we planned for this year. Our fighting spirit is high and temporary problems make us thrust forward even harder. Finding a way from the deepest of pits is a question of willpower alone. This forced time-out may actually be positive. We will have a little break and return with a new force, ready to hit the top and looking forward to seeing you all. The return of KILKIM ŽAIBU already looks really good!
SUPPORT. Your support is crucial. You are the chosen ones that we work for all year round. We love seeing you at KILKIM ŽAIBU, and your crazy parties and fun at our event is the best reward for our hard work.
TICKETS. You can use your tickets for KŽ-21 in 2021. They’re still valid and move on to the next year with the entire event. Choosing not to return your ticket would be a great support to us. It would enable us to jump over the gap currently in front of us, helping us to prepare for the next year’s festival. We can do this together! We truly hope for your understanding. Of course, we also understand everyone, who have different plans for the next year and will return your money. Should you wish your money returned, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
KILKIM ŽAIBU XXI will take place on 24-26 June 2021 on the shore of Lake Lūkstas in Varniai. Many of the bands that we have already announced understands the situation and have already agreed to visit us next year. Of course, the lineup will be slightly different than it was planned for this year, but it makes it only more interesting. We still have a bunch of pleasant surprises planned for you guys, and now we have even more time to spice it up!
Let’s get together, when it's safe. Take care of yourselves and your nearest and dearest. Be healthy and happy. Never give up! We will be looking forward to your return!
With best wishes,
KILKIM ŽAIBU Team.