Web Summit, Europe's largest web-centric conference by attendees, will go ahead in November as planned, according to the event's organiser.
The conference, which mostly caters to the startup ecosystem, attracted 70,000 attendees from 163 countries last year. It will take place in Lisbon's Altice Arena between November 2 and 5.
The decision was announced by the company's chief exec, Paddy Cosgrave on Twitter. "Web Summit is going ahead this year in Lisbon," he wrote. He later added that the event "will adhere to the strictest health protocols as guided by the government of Portugal," without going into further detail.
The usual Twitter mob gathered their pitchforks on the news. "We have 300 cases everyday and you say you will do web summit nonetheless?!," wrote users NobitinhaStream. Another user tweeted a photo of a large crowd waiting to enter the venue, saying "Bringing back sweet memories of 3 hour queue to get in on the opening night. What could possible go wrong?"
Bringing back sweet memories of 3 hour queue to get in on the opening night. What possibly could go wrong? pic.twitter.com/NeFXSERiES— Patrick Van Loij (@pvanloij) June 16, 2020
Web Summit has not yet released roster of speakers or exhibitors, which suggests that people are still wary about committing to traveling despite pandemic-related restrictions easing in Europe. It also remains to be seen if any big name companies will be willing to put their name to a conference that could pose a health risk to participants.
The company did not respond immediately to The Reg's requests for comment.
Lisbon City Council will issue a joint statement with the company in the coming days, according to local outlets. Gatherings of more than 20 or more are still banned across Portugal and Lisbon has cancelled all large summer events until at least the end of September. ®