While spring and summer events are being cancelled across the nation in response to COVID-19, a decision has not yet been made on the 28th Annual Salmon Arm Roots & Blues Festival.
In a Friday, April 17 media release, festival executive director David Gonella explained Roots & Blues organizers continue to monitor the situation and are working closely with government officials and other outdoor event organizers across B.C. to make the most informed decision they possibly can, ensuring the safety of festival-goers, performers, volunteers and the entire Salmon Arm community.
“Roots and Blues is a community, one built over 28 years of festivals, concerts and celebrations,” said Gonella. “My commitment to each of you as members of that community is this: As soon as I have more information, and as soon as a decision is made regarding the fate of the 2020 Roots & Blues Festival, I will honestly and openly communicate with each of you.”
Part of this effort, Gonella continues, includes Roots and Blues having joined the newly formed British Columbia Music Festival Collective. A partnership of more than 50 independent music festivals in B.C., the collective was formed in response to the COVID-19 crisis. Together, festival directors and producers are sharing information and working to ensure festivals continue to thrive in B.C. after the pandemic is no longer a threat to people’s well-being and safety.
“I am thrilled that a united voice has been created and we look forward to acting as a vehicle for communicating with music industry individuals and organizations, the provincial government, and granting agencies,” said Deb Beaton-Smith of Beat Music Management and spokesperson for the collective in an April 16 media release. “At the same time, these festivals will work together and individually to ensure that independent music festivals in B.C. continue to nurture the artistic and cultural impact they are known for, while still remaining a dynamic economic driver for our communities and our province.”
Roots & Blues is currently scheduled to take place Aug. 13 to 16. Updates and further information will be shared through the festival’s website and Facebook page, and through the Salmon Arm Observer.