Welcome to the ‘distant’ future. For our June cover feature, Access investigates how creative organisers are planning events in the era of social distancing…


Alan Crofton was just three hours away from boarding his flight to France when the decision was made to cancel his festival. “We already had contractors in France, we already had some staff out there,” he says.

Crofton is Festival Director at Mainstage Festivals, organisers of skiing/music event Snowboxx, which takes place in the French Alps. The last-minute cancellation was back in March, when the scale of the Covid-19 outbreak was becoming apparent. The team realised there was no way the event could go ahead, and pulled the plug. “It was one of the hardest weeks we’ve had to deal with as a company,” says Crofton.

Now that the dust has settled, Mainstage – which is still hoping its Snowboxx New Zealand can go ahead in September – is joining a selection of event organisers which are planning safe, socially distanced events in 2020 and beyond. But what kinds of events can we hold, while maintaining a 2m distance from one another?


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