Another one bites the dust. Harefest, the popular tribute band festival named in honor of the Wild Hare Saloon where it began in 2010, has been postponed another year, until July 2022, organizers announced Friday.
Early in 2020, organizers Joan Monen, of the Wild Hare, and Jason Fellman had shared the news that the Pacific Northwest’s signature tribute band festival would be returning to Canby at a new venue, the Clackamas County Fairgrounds, after five years at the Pat’s Acres Racing Complex west of town.
That was just weeks before the coronavirus pandemic hit Oregon. In May, Harefest joined the casualty list of hundreds of events nixed in the summer of 2020 after Governor Kate Brown announced new restrictions against large gatherings.
Though the Covid-19 outlook is rapidly improving in Clackamas County and throughout Oregon as the vaccine rollout continued, the picture remains too shaky to attempt a massive undertaking like Harefest, organizers said Friday morning.
Dear Harefest Revelers,It is with great disappointment that we must once again postpone Harefest 10 for another year. The new dates are July 8-9, 2022. Read the full announcement at https://t.co/8tQYnc5lti pic.twitter.com/wit38oGKaI
“Cancelling two years in a row is a hard pill to swallow for all of us,” Fellman and Monen said in the joint statement. “Covid numbers are dropping as vaccination rates are increasing, but even the best estimates don’t have everything fully ‘open’ by the time our date arrives.
“We ‘could’ try to pull off the event by adhering to whatever restrictions are still in place come July, but candidly, a ‘masked and social-distanced’ festival does not allow us to deliver the true Harefest experience.”
The event has been reset for July 8-9, 2022, and organizers are in the process of reconfirming performers for next summer. Most artists have already confirmed, and Fellman said they are confident they will be able to keep bands, stages and schedules essentially unchanged from organizers’ original plans.
All 2020 and 2021 tickets (including RV and overnight reservations) will be automatically valid for 2022. Fans who plan to keep their tickets do not need to take any action, organizers confirmed on the Harefest website.
Refunds are available for those who want them, though organizers cautioned that RV spaces are still expected to sell out, so those who give up their spots may be unable to purchase them again later.
Also, as an independent music festival, Harefest relies on advance ticket purchases for the year-round staging process, including planning staff, production/facility rentals, etc.
“We implore our Harefest family to request refunds only if it causes you a significant burden,” organizers said. “This will help us ensure the long-term health of the festival and maintain preparations for the new dates.”
Fellman and Monen concluded by thanking their devoted and tight-knit community for its support over the years.
“It’s going to seem like a painfully long wait until summer 2022, but our reward will be that when it’s time for Harefest 10, we’ll be cranking it up to 12!” they said. “As Tom Petty said, ‘The waiting is the hardest part…'”
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