Even though this new variant of COVID-19 appears to be more mild, more and more events are being canceled due to its extreme growth. Basically, you have COVID-19 right now. I hate to break it to you, but you probably have it right now. That’s how quickly this variant has spread.
And because of this, the Sundance Film Festival has decided to scrap its plans for an in-person gathering for their upcoming 2022 festival.
Sundance goes down every January in Park City, Utah, and it was scheduled this year from January 20-30, but now it looks like it’ll be all virtual.
The festival released the following statement after ruminating on the decision for weeks…
Despite the most ambitious protocols, the Omicron variant with its unexpectedly high transmissibility rates is pushing the limits of health safety, travel and other infrastructures across the country. The festival’s in-person Utah elements will be moving online this year. While we’re disappointed to not provide the full hybrid experience and gather in-person as intended, audiences this year will still experience the magic and energy of our festival.
As a nonprofit, our Sundance spirit is in making something work against the odds. But with case numbers forecasted to peak in our host community the week of the festival we cannot knowingly put our staff and community at risk.
It’s a huge hit to the festival. The in-person event is basically one week-long party in Utah full of filmmakers and celebrities. They were forced to hold a virtual event in 2021 as well. So that’s two years in a row now, and you have to wonder if it’ll impact their reach at all.
Hopefully they can return in-person in 2023, but who the hell knows at this point.