Rita Coolidge played the main stage at Vancouver Island Musicfest in 2017. The three-day music festival has been cancelled for 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Black Press file photo.

Rita Coolidge played the main stage at Vancouver Island Musicfest in 2017. The three-day music festival has been cancelled for 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Black Press file photo.

Vancouver Island MusicFest cancelled for 2021

Vancouver Island MusicFest has been shelved for 2021, due to the pandemic.

Executive producer Doug Cox said they held off on the decision for as long as possible, but the cancellation of the popular Comox Valley event was inevitable.

“It is actually a bit of a relief to finally come to this decision,” said Cox. “We have been waiting, as the world has, to see what is going to happen. But we have had a lot of discussions, and even if we are allowed to go ahead with it, would we feel comfortable doing it? The answer is no. Not this year. Even if we were allowed to do it, how much of our audience would feel comfortable coming out to a festival with their families?

“So, it sucks, but… we are doing the right thing for the community.”

Many of the ticket holders from the cancelled 2020 event had opted to roll their tickets over for the 2021 event, as opposed to receiving a refund. Cox said his staff has reached out to all those who had done that, and the majority of those who have replied asked if they could simply roll their tickets over again, for the 2022 festival.

“We are planning an online event for this summer, for the same weekend the festival was to happen, and we originally told the ticket holders they could use their tickets for the online event, but the response was so overwhelming of people saying ‘could we please just use it for 2022’ that we changed our minds and said we could do that,” said Cox. “That was actually really lovely. People were so positive about the whole thing. There was no negativity at all.

“So we are taking all that money from the 2020 tickets and putting it, basically, in lockdown until the 2022 (planning starts).”

Cox said details of the online festival will emerge soon. It will run on the July 9-11 weekend – the same weekend as the live festival was scheduled.

“One of the cool things about our online festival this year is that we are teaming up with the Ministry of Tourism and we will be shooting performances at key spots all over the Comox Valley, and those will be featured, as will the Comox Valley, throughout the whole weekend.”

In the meantime, the Island MusicFest office on Cousins Avenue has been shut down and all staff has been temporarily laid off.

“We are all kind of taking a sabbatical, just to save some money,” said Cox. “We will be active and still doing a few things online, and we will kick back in, as for staff, later on in the year, in the fall. I want people to know that we are doing what we have to do to keep the organization alive.”

ALSO: $500,000 in additional funds available to struggling B.C. musicians amid COVID pandemic


terry.farrell@blackpress.ca
Like us on
Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Comox Valleymusic festivals

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Regenerative farming that meets genuine needs should take priority over commercial recklessness, says columnist. (Stock photo)
Column: Hubris, greed causing humans to live destructively

Placing the economy as the top priority is licence to destroy natural systems, says columnist

Kyle Patrick McGuire was give a nine-month non-custodial sentencing to be followed by two years of probation on Wednesday, March 3, at the Nanaimo Law Courts. (PQB News file photo)
Bowser man sentenced to house arrest after guilty plea to child pornography offence

Nine-month non-custodial sentence to be followed by two years probation

A concept for development of the Green Thumb property in north Nanaimo. (Barefoot Planning and Design image)
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Develop land with care and thought

It’s getting to the point that you can’t go a block without seeing more apartments, says letter writer

Nanaimo Community Archives is looking for submissions from homeowners who took on exterior renovation projects, no matter how big or how small, for the first Heritage House Renovations Awards. (News Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo archives holding first Heritage House Renovation Awards

Judges want photos and descriptions of exterior renovations that enhanced character of Nanaimo homes

Nanaimo Courthouse. (News Bulletin file photo)
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Justice system is failing us

Crime rampant, police overworked, businesses targeted, citizens unsafe, says letter writer

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C. on the COVID-19 situation. (B.C. government)
Dr. Bonnie Henry predicts a ‘post-pandemic world’ for B.C. this summer

‘Extending this second dose provides very high real-world protection to more people, sooner’

(Black Press Media files)
Medicine gardens help Victoria’s Indigenous kids in care stay culturally connected

Traditional plants brought to the homes of Indigenous kids amid the COVID-19 pandemic

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

A rendering of Front Street transportation improvements set to get underway as soon as next week. (McElhanney image/City of Nanaimo)
Work set to start on Front Street cycle track in downtown Nanaimo

Road work and street reconfiguration project scheduled to start in March, finish in May

The Regional District of Nanaimo’s board is forwarding a motion on illegal dumping to the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities’ upcoming annual general meeting. (Kane Blake photo)
Regional District of Nanaimo motion seeks to ask province for help to combat illegal dumping

RDN resolution to be forwarded to Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities

Victoria man Brett Andersen is asking for people’s help to secure him one of eight free tickets to the moon. (Screenshot/@brettandersen Instagram)
Victoria man wants your help securing a free ticket to the moon

Japanese billionaire offering eight people a trip to the moon

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Most Read