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Salmonfest music festival canceled due to COVID-19 concerns

Horseshoes & Hand Grenades plays during Salmonfest Saturday, August 5, 2017, in Ninilchik. (Rugile Kaladyte / Alaska Dispatch News)

One of Alaska’s biggest music festivals has been canceled this summer amid concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic, organizers announced online Sunday.

This summer’s event would have been the 10-year anniversary of Salmonfest in Ninilchik, but organizers say they will celebrate the anniversary during next summer’s festival in August 2021. The festival was originally scheduled to take place from July 31 to August 2.

“Communities outside of Alaska and the country who have opened are experiencing spikes in new cases, or second waves,” said vending coordinator Hannah Stearns in an online statement. “While there are encouraging factors such as our location and small numbers of positive cases, there are many other factors to consider.”

Organizers will talk with local health department directors about a smaller-scale event if conditions surrounding the pandemic improve.

Current ticketholders will be able to use their tickets for the 2021 festival, and refunds are available until June 19.

The festival is held annually at the Kenai Peninsula Fairgrounds and draws up to 8,000 people, with about 60 acts across four stages, according to their website. The 2020 lineup included music from Shakey Graves, Less than Jake and Tropidelic.


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