With the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic already leading to the postponement of several events being organized for the International Year of Sound, the IYS 2020 Steering Committee has issued the following statement:

It is very unfortunate that the spread of the coronavirus in the whole world coincided with the beginning of the International Year of Sound. We all understand that health is our highest priority and that it is very important to follow the orders and restrictions issued by the World Health Organization and the National Health Authorities. Among these restrictions is the reduction of the unnecessary trips and the cancellation of larger group gatherings. These measures are already in effect in many countries and we cannot predict how long they will continue.

In view of these, it is evident that many of the events scheduled for the IYS 2020 must be either cancelled or rescheduled. As these events all around the globe provide the main tools we have in our hands to inform the people on the importance of sound for our world, and in order that the objectives of the IYS 2020 are fulfilled without restrictions we propose the following :

Extend the celebration of the IYS 2020 into the year 2021. This means that events originally scheduled for the 2020 can be rescheduled for the 2021 and still be part of the IYS 2020 celebration. This will also give the flexibility for the organizers of events yet to schedule to plan the event for 2021.

Ask the organizers of the events proposed to celebrate the IYS 2020 to respect the measures and restrictions issued by the WHO and the Health Authorities in their own countries and where necessary reschedule the already planned events and gatherings.

Postpone the deadlines for the submission of the proposals for the students competition to the end of the year 2020. The evaluation of the proposals will be done in the beginning of the 2021 and the announcement of the winners will be in 2021 in association with a major international acoustics meeting in 2021. Sergio Luzzi has agreed with this proposal.

Cancel the plans for the ICA summary/overview event of the IYS 2020 which was to be scheduled during the 2020 ASA November meeting in Cancun and reschedule for a suitable international meeting in 2021.

In the mean-time, our IYS 2020 web-site will be fully functioning with information on the status of the planned events and their rescheduling.

Using the words of Sergio Luzzi regarding the extension of the schools competition:

“We must guarantee to the world that the Year of Sound is not cancelled by the virus and that right after this difficult period, the beautiful “sound of the world” will be heard again by everyone.”

Michael Taroudakis and Marion Burgess

Co-Organisers IYS 2020


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