Anni Piper was among the performers at the 2019 Summertime Blues Festival at Maffeo Sutton Park. The Nanaimo Blues Society announced that this year’s festival has been cancelled. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)

Summertime Blues Festival cancelled due to COVID-19

Nanaimo Blues Society says tickets already purchased will be honoured in 2022

Last year’s Summertime Blues Festival was cancelled due to COVID-19 and now this year’s festival will suffer the same fate.

The Nanaimo Blues Society announced in its newsletter that the 2021 Summertime Blues festival has been cancelled. Tickets purchased for this year’s or last year’s festival will be honoured in 2022.

“After careful contemplation I regret to inform everyone that we are cancelling the 2021 Summertime Blues Festival,” society president and artistic director Grant Payne said in a statement. “With the border still closed and no gatherings allowed we felt we had no choice. [Provincial health officer] Dr. Henry stated a while ago that she doesn’t see restrictions being relaxed until fall at the earliest and she stated no large gatherings this summer.”

Looking ahead, Payne said the lineup for next year’s Summertime Blues Festival will be announced in November, with tickets going on sale the following month.

He added that the society will return to presenting shows at the Queen’s as soon as they are permitted to do so and he plans on returning to the idea of offering a New Year’s Eve dinner and show.

“Thank you for continuing to support the blues and live music in Nanaimo,” Payne said. “Here is hoping we all get through this pandemic and we can get back to live music soon.”

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