The first ever AltiTunes Festival at Big White has officially been cancelled, after it was postponed back in March.
Those who were looking forward to spring skiing, sunny skies and great live tunes got some disappointing news on March 16, when the inaugural event was forced to postpone due to COVID-19 restrictions put in place by the B.C. government.
The one-day festival was set to take place on April 4, featuring the Arkells, along with Vancouver's Dear Rouge and IMUR, Kelowna's Andrew Judah and DJ Invizible, and Vernon's daysormay.
Due to the provincial health order banning gatherings larger than 50 people, the event was postponed in mid-March, with the hopes of rescheduling for the summer. With the latest indications from Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry though, that won't be happening.
“Since postponing AltiTunes at Big White, we have been working to provide a new date for the show to take place,” organizers Mitch Carefoot and Kurt Jory said in an email to ticketholders Friday. “Unfortunately, our optimistic Plan B to host AltiTunes with headliners Arkells this summer was squashed by order of the Provincial Health Authority.”
As a result, ticketholders will be refunded their purchase price, save for about 3-4 per cent, due to service costs incurred. Other cancelled festivals, like Shambhala and Bass Coast, have chosen not to refund tickets, and instead honour them at future events.
“We fully intend to continue producing events when it's safe to do so, but ultimately there is no show without you, our ticket buyers,” Carefoot and Jory said. “By making this difficult decision, we are hopeful that you will attend and support us in the future when the show eventually goes on.”
Carefoot and Jory said both the Arkells and Big White are eager to make the show happen one day, "after the dust settles."
Through Thick as Theives Entertainment, Carefoot and Jory also organize the annual Denim on the Diamond festival, at Kelowna's Kings Stadium. This year's event is scheduled for Sept. 5, but a decision about whether it will proceed has not been made yet.