On Monday (4.20), the Tales of the Cocktail Foundation (TOTCF) formally announced the obvious—due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there will not be a cocktail festival attended by thousands in New Orleans this summer. Instead, the organization will explore alternate avenues to foster community and education this year.
An email blast from TOTCF President Caroline Rosen noted that NOLA Mayor LaToya Cantrell ordered all large events (including legendary festivals like Jazz Fest and ESSENCE) cancelled for the remainder of 2020.
TOTCF declared their plans to “Scale and digitize” instead. Rosen’s letter described “the future of The Foundation’s work: a brand new digital Tales 2020 platform.” She cited a weekly webinar, FULL HANDS IN / FULL HANDS OUT and Healthy Pour, an online wellness series as examples of said work.
The message also floated the idea of hosting small, safe local gatherings during July. Of course, this idea was accompanied by the logical caveats about CDC, WHO, and governmental okays on gatherings of the sort.
The move came after TOTCF was also forced to cancel their annual Tales on Tour event due to the pandemic.
Unfortunately, the decision was no surprise–and not a decision at all. Given the massive crowds at Tales annually, there really is no way to host the gathering in compliance with the recommended public health protocols. Plus, almost every bar in the US is currently closed due to quarantine and the vast majority of the industry is unemployed.
The popular Bar Convent Brooklyn trade show was previously postponed to August—with promised public health improvements—due to the virus.