Advertisement

Roots and Blues calls off ‘traditional’ festival, offers refunds

Attendees at the Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival on Aug. 18, 2019, dancing to live music. The event will not be going ahead this year as planned.
Attendees at the Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival on Aug. 18, 2019, dancing to live music. The event will not be going ahead this year as planned. Sydney Morton / Global News

It’s a staple of summer in the Shuswap, but, amid the coronavirus pandemic, crowds won’t be gathering in Salmon Arm for the annual Roots and Blues Festival this year.

READ MORE: With large gatherings ruled out in B.C. this summer, Okanagan wedding venues rescheduling

Organizers for the music festival announced Monday night they won’t be able to go ahead with the event “in its traditional format” and will be offering patron refunds.

The event, which was scheduled for August 13-16, would have been the 28th annual edition of the Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival.

READ MORE: Forget about PNE, other summer events amid COVID-19 measures, says B.C.’s top doctor

The decision to call off the regular running of the festival comes after B.C.’s provincial health officer said over the weekend that it won’t be safe to hold mass-gatherings this summer.

Story continues below advertisement

“We do not have enough herd immunity to protect everybody and allow that type of event to happen,” she said. “Large parades, large mass gatherings where we all come together — those will not be happening this summer.”

Click to play video 'Coronavirus outbreak: B.C. health official says large events, gatherings won’t be happening this summer' Coronavirus outbreak: B.C. health official says large events, gatherings won’t be happening this summer
Coronavirus outbreak: B.C. health official says large events, gatherings won’t be happening this summer – Apr 18, 2020

Instead of holding the normal festival, organizers said they are now looking at ways “to share the joy, talent and authenticity of the Roots and Blues Festival with a broader audience” with the help of technology.

Exactly what format that might take is still being determined.

READ MORE: The 27th Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival has something for everyone

Organizers said they plan to resume holding the annual music festival in 2021.

Those who purchased tickets to this year’s festival are being offered refunds, but ticket buyers are also being asked to consider donating all or part of their ticket price “in support of feature years’ festivals.”

Advertisement