Salmon Arm  

Roots and Blues Festival asks ticket holders to pay it forward, waive refunds

Festival seeks forgiveness

After a wildfire-abbreviated Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival, organizers are asking ticket holders to waive their refunds to support next summer's festival.

The festival was cancelled after its opening night in August as the Bush Creek East wildfire threatened the Shuswap.

"Ticket holders to the 31st annual Roots and Blues have the chance to support the magic of live music," the festival says.

"After the short but sweet festival this summer, ticket holders can choose to waive all or a portion of their refund and donate the proceeds to support next year's Roots and Blues," management says in a press release.

Salmon Arm Folk Music Society executive director David Gonella says the festival relies on revenue from multiple sources, with a large portion of generated through the previous year's festival.

"This process of raising funds for the next year's event has made the successful programming of Roots and Blues possible," says Gonella. "With the abrupt cancellation of the event this year, next year's festival may be underfunded."

Gonella says the society must still pay suppliers, contractors and artists for their work despite the cancellation, as much of the work is done before the festival gates open.

"We appreciate everyone's patience and understanding while we developed our refund strategy," says board chair Kimm Magill-Hofmann. "In a year when so many people and businesses have been directly impacted by fire evacuations, the compassion of festival goers is what makes Roots and Blues so special."

"Despite this year's festival being cut short, we will make every effort to present the 32nd annual Roots and Blues in the way we have all come to know and love," says Gonella.

Ticket holders will receive an email from the society outlining the refund and donation options available for each type of ticket.

For more information, visit www.rootsandblues.ca.

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