This email update (excerpted below) that many of us received from Madison Watson of Planet Bluegrass last Friday was like hearing from a dear old friend with not great news. It personally left me both with a sense of helplessness and hope. Such is limbo, right? May we all march forward together through this unknown and the reawakening sure to follow. Lyons knows how to do this; it’s not our first rodeo either. We are collectively rooting for you, Planet Bluegrass. Again. –C. Chrystal DeCoster
Hi Planet Bluegrass Family,
This is not the letter I wanted to send you in April. My media contacts and I were supposed to be rolling out a Folks Festival lineup announcement and planning its 30th Anniversary celebration. My festival sponsors and I were supposed to be advancing activations for Telluride Bluegrass. We were supposed to be drafting the book maps for our festival programs.
Unfortunately the world we find ourselves in today is a much stranger place than that. This summer is not going to be business as usual.
We’ve been waiting to issue a formal “statement” until we had direction on what our summer would look like. The hardest element to come to terms with is the fact that nobody has answers right now. We are all, globally, stupefied.
So, here is what I can tell you. As of today, Telluride Bluegrass Festival is still tentatively slated to take place from June 18-21, if only because no governing authority (local, regional, state, or national) has yet to provide guidance for what is now less than 90 days out. Given the circumstances, though, we are not confident we will be celebrating the Solstice in Telluride. Very few people are in a position to even speculate what the end of June will look like, especially in a tiny box canyon tucked away in the Rocky Mountains. But just because they haven’t gotten there yet, doesn’t mean it’s a sure bet. The 2020 Olympics have been postponed to 2021, and Wimbledon has been canceled.
In anticipation of an unusual fiscal year, the bulk of our year-round staff is going on short-term furlough, tentatively expecting to return to office on Monday, June 1–myself included. It is our hope that in the next two months we will gather more information on how this year’s festivals will be affected. As of now, we have been forced to view the summer with short sight, and have yet to even unpack plans for RockyGrass or Folks Festival.
In the most Wild West of scenarios, we may return to the office on June 1 and turn around to pull off the 47th annual festival in Telluride three weeks later–crazier things have happened, and this isn’t our first rodeo.
If we aren’t together for another magical box canyon Solstice in 2020, it looks like we will reconvene in 2021.
I’m also hoping, by June, to have a picture of what the future holds for RockyGrass and Folks. Until then, I’m hoping you will join me in practicing patience (so not easy for me!).
‘Til next time, stay well–in mind, body, and spirit.