ATHENS – On March 19, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) announced the cancelation of this year’s Summer Nostos Festival and the SNF Conference, both of which were scheduled for June. The text of the announcement follows:
Over the past few weeks, the world has experienced extraordinary and rapidly evolving developments related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Each day we face a new and different reality. With the health and safety of everyone involved as our absolute priority, it is with great sadness that we announce the cancelation of the 2020 Summer Nostos Festival and SNF Conference.
The magic at the heart of the SNFestival is not only the entertainers and activities it offers, but also in the way it brings people together in one place, at one time. It’s about gathering, hanging out, talking to each other in person, and soaking up shared experiences. It’s about enjoying one of the most beautiful public spaces in Greece. Engaging actively in the world and embracing our shared humanity is at the core of what our Foundation does. We look forward to the day when gathering in person will once again be possible, but at this time, we feel that our mission is best fulfilled by proactively calling off these large summer gatherings.
This decision was a difficult one for the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) to make. The Festival and Conference are a highlight of the year for guests from around the world, for the city of Athens, and for all of us at SNF. Planning for the SNFestival and SNF Conference is a year-round undertaking—one full of hard work and excitement for us and all of the partners who help bring a free celebration of summer fun and big ideas to life. While we very much hope that by June we will all be experiencing a return to normalcy, at present we must redirect the considerable resources and energy that go into these events toward the pressing needs now arising.
Needing to keep our physical distance from one another for a time has only made more apparent the importance of closeness and connection, of opportunities to gather, to celebrate, and to laugh together. The SNFestival and SNF Conference are an essential part of our mission, and we are determined to keep holding these events in the future.
We sincerely hope that we will come out of this global challenge collectively wiser and more resilient. The SNFestival takes its name from the idea of “Nostos,” the joyful homecoming that follows a long and difficult journey, and we look forward to the day that will bring a joyful return to the magic of the Summer Nostos Festival.
By staying apart now, we’re all in this together.