For the first time in 22 years, the annual Sisters Folk Festival has been canceled, due to the smoke from the wildfires. The event would have taken place this weekend, September 8 through 10, and word went out yesterday about the cancellation. Here’s the full statement:
It is with profound regret that the Board of Directors of the Sisters Folk Festival announces that the September 8 – 10, 2017 event has been cancelled due to extremely poor air quality conditions in Central Oregon.
After days of intensive consultation with fire managers, meteorologists and health professionals, we have determined that we cannot move forward with the festival without severely compromising the quality of the experience for our artists and our patrons. The well-being of our patrons, artists and volunteers is of paramount concern for the Sisters Folk Festival organization.
Predicted weather and smoke forecasts through the weekend do not allow us to stage the event with confidence that their well-being and the quality of experience you all have come to expect and appreciate can be delivered.
The Festival attempted to establish contingencies and alternatives at the Sisters Schools. Unfortunately, given that the schools were forced to close this week due to smoke conditions, we could not confidently establish that the air quality even indoors will be adequate.
This is an unprecedented event in the 22-year history of the Sisters Folk Festival and this decision was made with heavy hearts, fully mindful of the multitude of personal, civic and economic ramifications cancellation will have for everyone connected to our Festival community.
It will take a week or more for the Festival to assess our financial commitments and the impact this cancellation will have upon the Festival and community. Further information on our next steps will be provided as soon as it becomes available. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we navigate through this difficult and unprecedented event.
It’s been a crazy time for fires and smoke these past few weeks; I’ve never seen smoke this bad in many years of living here. Hopefully the rains that came through a bit today will stick around and help to control the fires and clear the air.