Organizers of the Salmon Arm Roots & Blues festival have cancelled the Aug. 13-16 event, but are pursuing alternative options. (File photo)

Salmon Arm Roots & Blues cancels 2020 festival, pursuing alternatives

Organizers looking at ways to share joy, talent of festival through technology

Since people can’t attend this year’s Salmon Arm Roots & Blues, organizers are looking at ways to bring the music festival to the people.

On Monday, Aug. 20, Salmon Arm Roots & Blues announced the cancellation of the 2020 event, scheduled to take place Aug. 13-16 at the fall fairgrounds. Influencing the decision were health and safety concerns and provincial directives related to restricting the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Roots & Blues executive director David Gonella expressed his appreciation of the enthusiasm and loyalty of festival-goers, stating the organization wants to do everything it can to keep their trust during this difficult time.

“We look forward to returning to our traditional format in 2021, and we hope to see you all there,” stated Gonella in a release.

Roots & Blues organizers are now looking at using technology to come up with a different format for this year’s event, so the “joy, talent and authenticity” of the festival can be shared with a broader audience. More on this will be made public in the coming weeks and months.

Read more: No decision yet on fate of 2020 Salmon Arm Roots & Blues

Read more: Organizers hopeful and planning for 123rd Salmon Arm Fall Fair in 2020

Read more: Five acts announced for 2020 Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival

Arrangements are also being made for refunds for 2020 event ticket holders. Alternatively, ticket holders may donate the cost of their ticket purchase to support the festival, or they can request a partial refund and donate the remainder.

“Every individual we have an email for will receive a message directly from the Roots & Blues festival that will direct them to the refund and donation process options,” states an April 20 release. “Any patrons who did not provide us with an email will be contacted directly. For more information or if you have questions, contact our office at info@rootsandblues.ca.”

On April 17, Gonella and the festival announced they’d joined the newly formed British Columbia Music Festival Collective – a partnership of more than 50 independent music festivals in B.C., 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.

Updates and further information will be shared through Roots & Blues festival’s website and Facebook page, and through the Salmon Arm Observer.

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