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Covid Concerns Push Scale 19x to July and to a New Venue

Covid mandates have forced Scale organizers to reschedule the Southern California-based conference, which has also necessitated a change in venue.

SCALE HP
Attendees gather around the HP booth at SCALE 13x in 2015 for a prize drawing. SOURCE: SCALE photo by Sean McCabe, CC-by-2.0

Scale, otherwise known as the Southern California Linux Expo, announced in an email sent yesterday that due to Covid concerns this year’s conference has been pushed back to July 28-31. In addition, the event will be returning to its original home, Los Angeles, at a facility that’s yet to be named.

The event, which is one of three major community-focused Linux and open source conferences held on the U.S. West Coast each year (along with LinuxFest Northwest and Seattle GNU/Linux Conference), was originally scheduled to take place March 3-6 at the Pasadena Convention Center, where it’s been held since Scale 14x in 2016. Before that it was held at various venues in Los Angeles, mostly at facilities located near the city’s international airport. Last year’s event was canceled entirely due to the pandemic.

Yesterday’s announcement was brief and to the point, evidently primarily intended to make the organization’s email subscribers aware of the change before they made travel and hotel arrangements, which might be costly to cancel or reschedule.

“[D]ue to developments in the COVID-19 pandemic, SCALE 19x is being rescheduled to July 28-31st and is moving to Los Angeles,” the email said. “Re-scheduling SCALE 19x will enable us to provide the safe environment that our attendees, staff, and speakers deserve. We remain excited as ever to bring back SCALE after a year hiatus, and have a great lineup for you this year.”

Although the email, as well as a notice on the event’s website, don’t offer any details about what prompted the move other than “Covid,” a Scale spokesperson told FOSS Force, “The delay is mandated by the city/county of L.A. and the state as we/they handle the latest wave of COVID.”

Dealing With Covid

Event organizers says that, “SCALE 19x will meet or exceed the requirements laid out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, State of California medical authorities, and local health departments.”

Before the announcement of the scheduling change, Scale team member Phil Dibowitz posted a notice about steps being taken to assure that this year’s in-person event is safe from a pandemic perspective. All attendees must be vaccinated, and those who aren’t, due to eligibility or medical reasons, must show proof of a negative PCR test result taken, taken within 72 hours of the event.

Masks are currently mandated in the city and county of Los Angeles, so staff and attendees will be required to be masked at all times, and hand sanitizer and wipes will be readily available.

“We recognize that as we come back to in-person events, not everyone will be ready to or want to have the same levels of physical proximity,” Dibowitz said. “To that end, we will be providing some mechanism for people to indicate what level of physical contact or distance they prefer: likely stickers or ribbons to put on badges.”

As a result of the change of date and venue, registration for Scale 19x has been pushed back, and will likely open in early summer.

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