Open Letter to the Drumming Circle

Hello,

 

This open letter is addressed to all involved in the gathering that is the “drumming circle and dancers” after our monthly market. 

 

We know you are all unrelated free individuals, and come from anywhere and everywhere, but this message is important and we ask you share it among your tribes and friends.

 

Our experience over the last 2 markets has prompted us to write this open letter. To be brief, we are asking our community not to hold the monthly drum circle after The Channon Craft Market until restrictions ease. Below is a more detailed explanation as to why we have had to make this decision, but rest assured once we can have you all back we will welcome you back with open arms and dancing bodies. 

 

We are the oldest surviving market operating in the area, we have seen all sorts of folks come through here and join us, we have a long history of activism in our community and we have a legacy of supporting the region’s biggest environmental actions. 

 

For the past two markets – August and September 2020, we have hired the space from Lismore City Council, as normal, to host the market, in very non-normal conditions.  It has been challenging for market organisers to simply run a market and our staff are working hard to make the event successful and meet the requirements of being covid prepared. 

 

We recognise that we do not organise the drum circle, its an organic session,  it evolves itself, with individual responsibility. We had hoped that the community that gathered in that space at the end of our market, could gather as per normal – but with one proviso – not dance, as per NSW government Covid-19 restrictions on public gatherings. We asked you, not to do it until the restrictions eased please, we had our Manager and Council pleading with the crowd not to dance, they were ignored and ridiculed by certain individuals and people continued to dance. Some people were responsive and accepted the market’s explanation and we thank them wholeheartedly for the support and words of encouragement. 

 

To put it simply – the drum circle cannot co-inside with our market during the current restrictions. As per our obligation to the NSW Government, in order for us to meet the requirements we have had to meet current restrictions and adopt a Covid Safety Plan which includes extra signage, sanitising stations and hiring of additional staff to ensure we abide by the new restrictions.  All patrons, staff,  and retailers of our market must adhere to the rules, – which include – no dancing or gathering in groups of more than 20 people. 

 

We are not saying this because we disagree with your life-choices, your beliefs, the way you dress, the way you dance. We are simply a community not-for-profit and we run for the benefit of our stallholders, community and patrons. At the moment, to provide this service to our community we need to listen to the Government rules. 

 

We know it may sound silly, even somewhat bizarre, and in the future we hope we will laugh about it, but at the moment we are serious – you cannot dance at the market – you cannot dance anywhere in public – there are laws against this and the everyday activities we would normally do prior to the pandemic, its affecting so many people and how we connect! https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/what-you-can-and-cant-do-under-rules. 

 

In short – until restrictions are eased, we ask that nobody bring drums or other instruments to start a drum circle or a jam, and that in turn, nobody dances.  It seems the lure of the drums is too hard to resist, where the beat exists – people dance, and for that reason we are asking all participating drummers, musicians, and dancers to go home after the market closes at 3pm instead of participating in the regular meet. 

 

When the laws change, as we pack-down the market, we would love to see the space around the playground to be filled again by drummers and dancers carrying-out the long-held tradition of the drumming-circle, but until then, we cannot jeopardise our stallholders lively-hoods, staff, community, and patron’s experience. The committee may be willing to work with the community to facilitate alternate solutions so that the drumming circle can continue, this would require at least one strongly committed volunteer to take responsibility for registering a CovidSafe Plan and being present on the day. If there is this committed individual in the community who wants to discuss these alternatives please email admin@thechannonmarket.org.au before Monday the 5th of October 2020.

 

For the sake of the few who find it to hard not to drum and dance (and yes we know this is restrictive, but it will not be forever), we ask you to stay home, with your pets, your drums, your instruments and your loved ones, or instead visit still – but without the instruments and dance moves please.

We thank you for cooperating with us during these strange times.

Kind regards,

 

The Management Committee of The Channon Craft Market Inc on behalf of,

The Team and Stallholders of The Channon Craft Market.

P.s. The rules may change at any time, we will publicly announce with excitement when we can welcome back drumming and dancing at our market. (maybe even with open arms)