To Our Dear Worldwide HONK! Community,
First and foremost, we hope this announcement finds you coping in the best way you can during the ongoing COVID-19 health crisis, which we recognize has disproportionately and unjustly affected Black, Indigenous, Latine, and Asian populations here in the United States and abroad.
It’s been over a year since we lost the ability to gather in person. We are so grateful to all the festivals, bands, and artists who are continuing to collectively make lemonade out of lemons with online and socially distanced events, especially the international collaboration that produced HONK!United. Now with 2021 comes the rollout of vaccines, a better understanding of the virus, and the hope that someday things can “get back to normal.” While we are excited about this newfound sense of hope, we feel it would be irresponsible to suggest that we are out of the woods yet. No one can know what the state of the world will be like in October.
Because of this, we wish to share with you that our HONK! Festival of Activist Street Bands has made the decision to limit our in-person activities for 2021 to local bands only.
What defines a “local band”? In this case, it means a band whose members can drive (and bike and walk!) home and sleep in their own beds after performing. Our festival will not be providing housing or food, and live performances will be strictly limited to small, carefully pre-planned events that take into account every current advisement concerning public gatherings in the greater Boston area.
We miss you all terribly. We look forward to the near future when we can play and march and laugh and dance and be physically together in the same space again. It is because we care deeply for our HONK! community that we are taking a reserved approach to our 2021 festival.
We ask that you respect our decision by not making plans to independently travel to Somerville during Indigenous People’s Weekend as “orphans” or part of a pick-up band.
Any travel and public performances not organized by the official HONK! festival but appearing to be a part of HONK! could have dangerous, unintended consequences, from spreading the COVID-19 virus to disrupting the careful trust and respect we have developed in our local communities.
Thank you, and take care. We look forward to seeing you all in person once again as soon as we can safely do so.
— the HONK! organizing committee