|August 1, 2021||
Cases Are Rising Again
We are still in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic and due to the more contagious Delta variant of the disease cases are once again rising. For this reason we are encouraging all attendees to wear masks while at the event.
We are planning to do everything in our power to keep our guests safe. Masks will be provided, as will hand sanitizer. We do not expect the venue to be overly crowded so it should be possible to maintain social distance while in the audience.
At this point we are proceeding as planned with the convention. We have no plans to cancel the event and, in fact, can't unless the state of Illinois bans indoor gatherings of this size again. We do not anticipate that happening. However, we certainly do not want anyone getting sick and will do everything in our power to keep everyone safe.
|June 17, 2021||
Phase 5 - Go!
As of June 14th Wheeling Illinois is officially in Phase 5.
This means the previously announced attendance limits have been lifted and we can operate at full capacity.
CDC guidelines are still in effect. We recommend masks and social distancing for anyone who isn't fully vaccinated. If you are vaccinated and still want to wear a mask we encourage you to do so. We will have some on hand available for free or you are welcome to bring your own. And social distancing is always a good idea so long as this virus is still in play. Please remember that children under 12 are not yet eligible for vaccines and are still susceptible to the virus, and there will be at least a few of them in attendance.
|June 1, 2021||
It's Official - We Are a Go!
We have just received word from health officials in Wheeling that our event can proceed! With some limitations for now, that is.
Wheeling and the surrounding area are currently in what they call the Bridge to Phase 5. Phase 5 means the state is completely reopen with no restrictions, but the Bridge phase allows for indoor conventions with "the lesser of 1000 people or 60% capacity." The Lake Michigan Ballroom seats 468 people in a theater setup. 60% of that is 280 people, so that is the maximum number of people we can allow inside. This includes staff, guests, and volunteers, so we will need to limit the number of registrations we can accept until Wheeling moves to Phase 5. This means we may not be able to accept registrations at the door, so please register soon to guarantee your attendance at the event.
If Wheeling moves to Phase 5 at any point before FuMPFest then we can lift that limitation, but in the meantime we must assume a maximum capacity of 280 people. For more details on the Bridge to Phase 5 click here.
Please be aware that while this is great news the pandemic is still a very real threat. We ask that all attendees be mindful of their neighbors and adhere to CDC guidelines. If you are not vaccinated please wear a mask while you are in the convention area and maintain social distance of at least six feet whenever possible. If you have been vaccinated masks and social distancing are still encouraged to prevent the spread to other people who may not be vaccinated. Hand sanitizer and masks will be provided free of charge.
|March 26, 2021||
A Plan for Reopening
The Governor of Illinois has announced a plan to reopen the state with what they're calling a "Bridge to Phase 5" plan.
All residents of Illinois who are 16 or over will be eligible for the vaccine beginning on April 12th. They anticipate that festivals like ours may be able to resume as early as May. Since our event is in late August this is a very good sign that we will be able to go ahead as planned with our event.
You can read the Governor's full statement here.
Several FuMPFest staff and volunteers have already received one or both of their vaccine doses. At this point we are going ahead under the assumption that we will be able to have an in-person event. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and if anything changes we will let you know.
Thanks to Carrie Dahlby for bringing the Governor's statement to our attention.
|December 17, 2020||
Full Speed Ahead
As the case load rises and the death toll mounts there is hope on the horizon. The first vaccines are now being rolled out and from what we understand it sounds like everyone who wants a vaccine should be able to get one before FuMPFest happens. In fact, Dr. Fauci is predicting that, with an efficient vaccine rollout, that the US could achieve herd immunity by late spring or early summer. This all gives us hope that will we be able to have our convention in person as planned.
We will continue to keep an eye on things and, as always, will not do anything that puts any of our guests or volunteers at risk. But right now we are hopeful that the event will be able to go ahead as planned. In the meantime please stay safe and have a wonderful holiday season!
|September 4, 2020||
Plans for 2021
We have begun planning for 2021's event and are currently operating under the assumption that we will be able to hold the event in person. We will continue to monitor the situation and take all necessary precautions to ensure everyone's safety at the event.
Please continue to watch this space for updated information as we get closer to the event.
|May 23, 2020||
Yup, That'll Do It
Within hours of posting our previous statement the Governor of Illinois released his Restore Illinois plan which documents how they plan to reopen the state. Part of that plan states that gatherings of 50 or more people will be prohibited until Phase 5, which is when there's a vaccine, a readily available treatment, or no new cases. This counts as a "force majeure" for us as it is extremely unlikely that Illinois will be in Phase 5 by late August. So we have no choice but to postpone the event.
The next in-person FuMPFest is currently scheduled to take place August 20-22, 2021. Dr. Demento and most of the previously announced guests have already been confirmed so we will be able to go ahead with our plans for celebrating Dr. Demento's 50th anniversary, even if it is a year late.
For 2020 we will be holding a free online event on the evening of August 29th which will be streamed on Twitch and Dementia Radio. This will feature live concerts, Dumb Parody Ideas, The Logan Awards, and more.
The hotel has been very accommodating and we are looking forward to working with them in 2021. We will continue to monitor the pandemic and plan accordingly, but at this point we are hopeful that it will be safe to hold the in-person event in 2021.
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|May 3, 2020||
So We're All on the Same Page
There have been some grumblings and rumors starting to spread around Facebook so I wanted to post an update just so everyone understands the position we are in and what is happening with the convention.
At this point in time we can not cancel the event. As per our contract with the hotel if we were to cancel now we would owe the hotel more money than we could possibly come up with. We're talking multiple 5-figures here. That would be disasterous for us and would likely be the end of FuMPFest, The FuMP, and everything else done under the name FIDIM Interactive, LLC.
Instead, we must wait until a time closer to the event when it is clear that the event can not happen due to forces beyond our control. That could be because the virus is still a cause for concern, or the ban on gatherings is still in effect, or something to that effect that will allow us to trigger the "force majeure" clause of the contract. That's like a no-fault clause that allows us both to walk away from the contract without penalty. We need be able to say to the hotel "Look, we want to have the event, but we can't and here's why."
At this point in time it's just too soon to trigger that clause. There are too many variables and late August is too far out to project with any certainty. We may not be able to make a reasonable decision until late June or possibly even July, so until then we are continuing with the plans in case it does happen. (If the event happens and we haven't finished planning then nobody is going to be happy.)
We are not being overly optimistic and we are not blindly plowing ahead with our plans regardless of the risk to people. We are literally doing the only thing we can do at this point in time.
Yes, we are hopeful that the event will still happen. But in order for that to happen the pandemic needs to be effectively over by then. We are not going to hold an event that puts our attendees at risk. If and when FuMPFest happens it will be because we believe it is safe to proceed.
Thank you for understand and thank you for your continued support.
|April 5, 2020||
We are monitoring the coroniavirus pandemic closely and taking it very seriously. As much as we want to have fun and put on an awesome weekend for you we need to make sure everyone is safe first.
As of now it is too soon to determine what will be the proper course of action for this year's event. Nobody knows how long this is going to last or how it will play out. So, for now, we are proceding as planned in the hopes that things will be somewhat back to normal by the end of August.
We will continue to monitor the situation over the coming weeks and months and reevaluate things as we get closer to the event. We are hopeful that the event will be able to go ahead as planned, but if we need to cancel or postpone the event we will notify everyone who registered by email and post an announcement here on the website. Please watch this page for future updates.