BY LEE J. KAHRS
BRANDON — The Basin Bluegrass Festival has been cancelled for the first time ever.
Founder and organizer Linda Berry said Tuesday that she waited as long as she could to make a decision about this year’s festival in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The governor said fairs and festivals are cancelled this year, so that’s it,” she said. “It’s the first time ever in 26 years that we’ve cancelled.”
The festival is held annually over the second weekend in July at the top of Basin Road off McConnell Road in Brandon. Hundreds of Bluegrass music fans drive from all over the region and the country to park their RVs and listen to live music on a plateau against the backdrop of the Green Mountains. Tickets are often bought months in advance and Berry sets the line up for each year’s festival over a year ahead.
“Due to circumstances beyond my control, I have had to cancel this years festival,” Berry wrote on the homepage for the festival website, www.basinbluegrassfestival.com. “If you have advance tickets and have not heard from me already, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 802-247-3275…”
This year there were 11 acts slated to perform. Berry said none of them pulled out before she cancelled the festival.
And those acts booked for 2021? All set.
As for ticket holders for this year’s festival, Berry is offering refunds, but also a chance to apply this year’s tickets to next year’s festival.
“There are two or three that sent for tickets that I haven’t heard from,” she said. “A few people even said to keep the money and insisted they would buy tickets for next year, which was nice. Most people are saying to hold their tickets for next year.”
Ever organized, Berry has a running list of those folks, who will present their 2020 tickets at the gate for the festival being held July 8-11, 2021. And just to be clear, since the 26th annual Basin Bluegrass Festival is not happening this year, next year’s will mark the 26th year.
Berry is a doer, and it was mentioned that she must suddenly have more free time than usual, especially staying home during the pandemic. She agreed.
“I’ve done more yard work,” she said. “And I did a jigsaw puzzle for the first time in years! I’ve been reading, watching TV, talking to people on the phone… You know, what everyone else had been doing.”