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NIC 2020 - the Festival of Nothing

The Czech government has just extended the state of emergency to April 30. The good news is that our stringent restrictions and our mandatory mask policy seem to be working. Our infection rate is slowing, our healthcare system is coping well, and our fatality rate is low. This is the most important thing, and it's great to see that the government is going such a good job on it.

On the other hand, the Czech government has yet to bring in any time of financial assistance for small businesses, the self-employed or any of the independent cultural spaces that you been shut down. As the government hasn’t stepped in, the cultural sector is doing it themselves, and have a created NIC2020, Festival of Nothing. You can buy tickets for exhibitions, concerts, shows, tourists, films, tours that won’t take place. The idea is to ask the public to support these venues so that they will be able to survive the shutdown and come back to life on the other side. Otherwise, there is a real danger that they will be wiped away by the pandemic, and Prague will be a poorer place for it.

It’s also given us the idea of a Tour of Nowhere. The state of emergency and the prolonged border closure poses an existential threat to our small company. Therefore, we’re selling tickets for a tour that won’t take place at 11am on 1 May. The funds raised will be used to provide a basic income for our guides during the crisis. We will also send a Postcard from Nowhere, with a handwritten thank you note, to anyone who buys a ticket.

I would urge to you consider buying a ticket for a Festival of Nothing and/or a ticket for a Tour of Nowhere. I know that it isn't possible to travel at the moment, but the support of armchair travelers now will make all of the difference in the survival of the cultural life of this city.

Posted by
18735 posts

That is an excellent idea. People here when they talk of travel tend to only see their half, "it's a luxury I can live without". They forget for those working in the industry, it's not a luxury, and they can't live without.

Posted by
423 posts

Hi Marcus,
We know each other and we are competitors as well but I have to say this is a great idea for people to support you. I know how much effort you guys put into the tours so I'm happy to be one of your "Armchair" guests. No postcard required, maybe a beer when it's all done.

Posted by
356 posts

Thanks Jason,

I look forward to that beer when the pubs or beer gardens reopen, depending on the season. See you on the other side.


Posted by
2221 posts

Marcus - I hope this post doesn't get taken down! I just tried your link and, while the site came up, it wouldn't let me choose a date or do anything else. Best of luck to you.

Posted by
4325 posts

Janet, it looks like it’s going to work for me (once I get up to go find my card).

Marcus, thanks for letting us know of a way to help. The other side will come. :)

Posted by
2650 posts

thanks for posting this ,I know yourself and Jason will be going through a hard time at the moment . I have other friends in Prague that also are connected to the tourist industry or with services that are completely shut down at the moment. A real tough time for you all and I hope you all get through this very testing time. I am due to be back in Prague on the 15th of May for a week but not sure if that is going to happen as I may not be able to travel .Also I work for a medical research facility (we are doing some COVID-19 work as well as running NHS support labs) and may be required to stay here as we are so short staffed and I can't see it improving much over the next 6 weeks or so. I am due to take early retirement in September and may have to put that on hold for another 6 months or so.
Take care and I hope to see you all sometime this year.