The State of the Thing: Post Lockdown Devizine and How We Can Help

Optimistic afternoon, the first time in months I’ve been adding events to our event calendar, rather than deleting them. Halfway through I paused to wonder if it was all too premature, then the update broke that restrictions are being eased further to allow outdoor sports and entertainment events.

It has been the most the bizarre time for us all, perhaps something our younger generation will tell their grandchildren about years from now. Pretty imprudent, I offer, but often comparable with a war, the ending of this pandemic lockdown will certainly not be as we imagined at first, a VE-Day styled celebration where we’re all hugging and jumping all over each other. Rather, it will be a gradual return to normality. Maybe there’s certain parts of normality which we’d rather see the back of, a return of traffic jams, road accidents, environmentally unsound practices, and general aggravation. But we will welcome back sociability; the chance to see relatives and loved ones again, as well as the simple things we once took for granted, like popping down the pub and catching a live band!

It is also understandable some feel uneasy about venturing out after being locked down for so long, if they’ve not been out much, I can appreciate some may feel like a squirrel at the end of its hibernation period, poking it’s head from its nest to check it’s safe. I find this notion the hardest to digest, as someone who has worked throughout the lockdown, harder than before I might add, I can only imagine what those permanently confined to their homes must feel like. All I will say is, take heed of the precautions, but really, it’s not some frozen-over wasteland outside, everything is pretty much the same as it once was. Of course, it is up to you to decide when the time is right to emerge back into the real world, but the time is near; defo!

I have been quiet about all this for a while, because, I, for once, was lost for words. I’ve been indifferent about all the decisions regarding lockdown, with mixed opinions. Do I think the government has had an easy task? Of course not, but during your stay in parliament one has to accept a catastrophe is possible. It’s no good having a government only dedicated to one agenda, as while they were wallowing in triumph, “getting Brexit done,” whatever the fuck that’s supposed to mean, they overlooked and ignored this looming threat.

Do I think they handled it far too late? Of course, I do. Yet we only have to look at Sweden to see it was necessary to lockdown, we can speculate it has saved lives, but we will never be fully sure. I’m not here to get political, despite the priority of this government is economy over the welfare of the masses, and it is dedicated only to large corporations, rather than the small businesses and employees.

It has, on the other hand recently offered something in the way of compensation for financial losses, I only fear promises are not something they’re particularly good at, and even if they do happen, they’ll be geared to supporting only the bigger businesses. Then, on a more optimistic day, I tend to feel, well, that’s democracy for you; the majority picked these clowns, we’ve no choice but to give them the benefit of the doubt. Right now, I’m so pissed off with lockdown, as I think we all are, whether we broke the rules to go to the beach, or if we abided to them and scorned at those who did, that I’m willing to accept any lessening of restrictions. We all need to get over it, and consider it history. If a second wave comes our way, least we will be more prepared, but it’s no use the squirrel hiding in his nest all spring, as it’d die anyway.

Anyhoo, I’m thinking about Devizine, this week, about how we can help to restore this normality. Updating the event calendar will take time. I urge you to use it to plan your celebratory reunification, but you should note, many events have remained on it, I didn’t delete future events in anticipation of the end of lockdown, but still many listed may have been cancelled or rescheduled. You should check the links and enquire direct to the organisers to check if it’s still going ahead before you head out.

I will gradually go through them to check, but I’ve got a workload now dumped on my desk. Getting the event calendar back up to its once, comprehensive standard will take time. I urge event organisers to help me to help them. DO check through the calendar and let me know if you spot an event which is listed but has been cancelled. DO contact me to let me know of your events asap, so we can add them. I will waiver all fees for advertising for the next two months, so if you’ve a poster please send me a jpeg of it too. I want to do whatever I can to support our events, organisers and performers, you only need to let me know how.

I do hope live streams will continue. They add another element to presenting talents, and are universal too. Our virtual festival lost track, but I will share them on Facebook, and I will add them into the main event calendar from now on.

I do hope our writers will return, to review and provide content. Prior to lockdown I had a small team building, but I still need more writers to volunteer; it’s fun, honest, message me for details. The more writers and photographers the wider and more comprehensive we can be, the better our product, the more we can grow, then profit may come our way. But this has never been my priority, as I said, I’ll waiver advertising fees for a period, but I still require about £50 by February to keep the site running, so any donations would be appreciated. I confess, I emptied the entire Devizine fund, and spent much from my own pocket, buying local music via Bandcamp, to support them as best I could during this terrible time for their livelihoods.

So, I ask you for your patience, to get Devizine up and running again, I ask for your support, and I ask for you to provide me with your information so we can promote your happenings as best we can. You can message the site, message the Facebook page, Tweet me, email or join our Facebook group, The Devizine Communications Group, to let me know. If I do not respond, rest assured I’m not ignoring you, I just need another nudge to remind me!

For the best part though, I’m looking forward to getting out and about once again, meeting with friends, and I thoroughly wish all the landlords, event organisers and our performers all the very best for the future in these trying times. Hopefully, today we see a light at the end of the tunnel.

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