this is the latest (and probably last) update on the status of ELS 2020 with regard to the current pandemic. Jumping to the conclusion: ELS 2020 will take place on April 27-28, as initially planned, but as an online event.
In order to minimize the technical risks, the talks are being recorded, and will be broadcast according to the schedule advertised on the website (still subject to last minute modifications). We still want the event to be interactive, so the broadcasts will be accompanied with a live chat for discussion. Specific instructions for joining the event will be advertised on the website in a timely fashion.
I am writing this the day after French president Macron announced one more month of confinement here, and that the European borders would remain closed "until further notice". I am now convinced that this is the best solution for us, under these circumstances. Simply cancelling the event was of course completely out of the question. Organizing a fully interactive online event was considered too risky. Finally, postponing the physical event would have meant doubling the workload of the organizers, planning for an uncertain date, most probably after summer, which would also have put us too close to ELS 2021 (which will happen around the end of March, in co-location with <Programming> again).
Of course, it is frustrating for everyone to miss the opportunity to meet face to face as we do each and every year, but again, under the circumstances, I truly think this is the best we can do, and I want to thank all the people for whom this new setting implies an additional workload.
Since the very early days of ELS, we made a point in keeping the event as cheap as possible. Because the financial cost for this year was considerably reduced, we decided to make the event free and open to anyone, if it's any consolation. We also hope that this can be an incentive to bring a larger audience to the symposium, and perhaps spread the Lisp virus a bit more!
Looking forward to watching the talks and reading you on the live chat! Stay safe.