Boots and Hearts, Big Sky country music festivals cancelled due to coronavirus

Dierks Bentley performs on the main stage at Boots and Hearts, on Friday, Aug. 5, 2016 in Oro-Medonte, Ont. The Canadian Press Images/Boots and Hearts Music Festival via AP Images

Bad news, country fans.

As of May 1, both Big Sky 2020 and the annual Boots and Hearts music festivals have been cancelled as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

“Despite our eagerness to continue with this season, it is with great sadness that we announce the cancellation of Boots and Hearts and Big Sky 2020,” wrote organizer Republic Live in a collective statement provided to Global News on Friday.

The live entertainment company based its difficult decision ultimately on “the health and well-being of fans, artists, staff, partners and the community” being their “highest priority.”

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Both of the popular country music gatherings were set to take place in small-town Oro-Medonte, Ont., at the infamous Burl’s Creek Event Grounds this summer — Big Sky on July 18 and 19 and Boots and Hearts from Aug. 6 to 9.

Additionally, the weekend-long events issued their own statements expanding on their decisions to cancel, while also offering apologies and details on how ticket holders could acquire refunds if they’d like to do so.

“The impact of COVID-19 remains a risk for all large-scale events in 2020,” read a letter from Boots and Hearts — Canada’s biggest and most-beloved country music festival.

“We are truly sorry we won’t be able to celebrate BootsLife with you this summer. We are already moving forward with planning for Aug. 5-8, 2021 — the much-anticipated 10th anniversary!”

Boots and Hearts 2021. Republic Live

As a surprise for avid Boots and Hearts festival-goers, Republic Live announced that American country singer/songwriter Eric Church would serve as one of its 2021 headliners.

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Better yet, the company has offered to honour all 2020 passes for next year’s festival, meaning that current ticket holders who want to attend Boots and Hearts 2021 can hold onto their 2020 tickets/weekend passes until then.

All camping, RV and parking reservations will carry over to 2021, too, for those who do not want a refund.

Furthermore, full-weekend ticket holders who decide to hold onto their tickets will receive a $25 credit at next year’s festival, with VIP pass-holders being offered $50.

For those who would like to obtain refunds for Boots and Hearts 2020 tickets or passes, you can find further information on how to do so here.

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As for Big Sky, the classic country festival announced that refunds would automatically be issued to its past ticket holders.

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Republic Live said those ticket holders will have “first access” to all 2021 tickets and reserved camping spots.

For updates and additional information, you can visit the official Boots and Hearts website or the official Big Sky Music Festival website.

A full list of concerts and tours affected by the novel coronavirus throughout North America can be found here.

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