Yet another major summer event for the Northwest has been shut down over concerns about the coronavirus pandemic.
In a press release this morning, the Kispiox Valley Music Festival Society (KVMFS) announced it is cancelling the 2020 event. It would have been the 26th annual.
The release cited the “risk posed to attendees, performers, and the local population due to the global COVID-19 pandemic” and referenced a recent directive from Dr. Bonnie Henry.
“Subsequent statements by B.C.’s provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, have indicated that all such large gatherings this summer would have to be cancelled,” the release said.
Last week Henry said physical distancing measures imposed on the Province in March would remain throughout the summer with respect to events such as the Pacific National Exhibition (PNE).
“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.”
Nevertheless, society president Brad Reddekopp said it was not an easy decision.
“We realize that many people will be affected by this decision but we felt that we had no choice,” said KVMFS president Brad Reddekopp. “It was an emotional board meeting, a very difficult thing to do.”
In her remarks April 18, however, Henry hinted there could be some relaxation of the rules.
“I do think there are possibilities in the summer that we will be having lots of other opportunities to have more social interaction, but if you look at the modelling we did… we need to find a sweet spot.”
She urged people planning large weddings or family gatherings to “think small.”
The Kispiox Valley Music Festival is a unique family event of eclectic musical styles nestled in an idyllic mountain setting that attracts attendees from all of North America.
Last year, headliners included Twin Flames, Caleb Hart, Five Alarm Funk, Namgar and The Dungarees.
The KVMFS says it will take the break this summer to upgrade some of the facilities on the festival ground and hopes to be back better than ever in 2021.