The Voodoo Rhythm Kings performing during the 2019 Summer Sounds series. Barry Coulter file photo.

The Voodoo Rhythm Kings performing during the 2019 Summer Sounds series. Barry Coulter file photo.

Summer Sounds, Peak Music Festival postponed indefinitely

The two summer events are being postponed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic

The Fisher Peak Performing Artists Society (FPPAS) is saddened to announce that the Summer Sounds and Peak Musical Festival will be postponed indefinitely.

The events were postponed after the B.C. government announced Wednesday (May 6) that no large gatherings, including concerts and festivals, will be able to take place this summer due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“These are extraordinary times and the arts and culture communities in Canada and around the world have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said FPPAS President James Neve. “Social gatherings, concerts and large events have been curtailed in many places including here in the East Kootenay.”

He adds that FPPAS offers their profound sympathies to those who have lost loved ones and those who have been adversely affected by the pandemic.

READ MORE: British Columbians can double their ‘pandemic bubble’ in mid-May, but no large gatherings

“Recently, the Premier of B.C. and the Chief Public Health Officer provided clarity regarding social gatherings, such as concerts. They have indicated that they key to allowing large social gatherings will now be a widely available vaccine against COVID-19 and no gatherings will be allowed until that time,” Neve explained.

The FPPAS events that were scheduled to take place this summer in Rotary Park included Summer Sounds 2020 and the Peak Music Festival 2020.

The two events always bring in local and regional performers, who are paid through money raised by the society. Private donors, such as Heritage Canada, Creative BC and the Columbia Basin Trust provide grants to the society to help pay the artists.

Neve says that artists can only be paid if they are performing, so he hopes that the funds will roll over into next year’s event.

“We apologize to the performers, artists, vendors and sponsors, but these events are beyond our control and we support everyone in their efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19 and prevent it from taking hold in our communities,” said Neve. “If you are an artist or group booked to perform at Summer Sounds or Peak Music Festival you will receive a personal message from us.”

Neve says that the society was optimistic about a July 4, 2020 opening, and the planning and booking that the society has done to date.

“These decisions and regulations prevent us from going forward at this time,” Neve said, adding that there may be a chance to see some performances online. “We are engaged in planning possible alternatives and hope to offer a virtual future while we continue to all do our part to end the pandemic. Copyright issues could be a big stumbler, but we are hoping for a pilot in June. Stay tuned!”

He urged the community to continue to stay safe and do their part, saying that when the time is right the highly anticipated events will return bigger and better than ever.

“This is seen as an unfortunate turn of evens by all involved, but ultimately it is the right decision to make,” Neve said. “Wash your hands, keep your distance, wear a mask if you need to and be patient with all. We are in it together and we will get through it together.”

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