Shambhala Music Festival will still go on as scheduled in July, as will the Kaslo Jazz Etc. Festival. File photo

Shambhala Music Festival will still go on as scheduled in July, as will the Kaslo Jazz Etc. Festival. File photo

UPDATED: Shambhala, Kaslo Jazz festivals to go on despite COVID-19 outbreak

Events at Nelson’s Spiritbar, The Royal and Bloom Nightclub meanwhile have been postponed

Shambhala Music Festival and Kaslo Jazz Etc. Festival are both set to open in the summer, even as other Nelson venues cancel or postpone concerts due to the coronavirus outbreak.

In a statement released Thursday, organizers for the annual electronic music festival near Salmo said the event scheduled for July 24 to 27 would go on.

“Based on the current information provided by health and government authorities, and with several months still to go, we do not anticipate disruption to our summer festival,” said the release.

Shambhala, the biggest annual music event in the West Kootenay, had previously been held in August but was moved up to July this year in response to wildfire dangers.

The Kaslo Jazz Etc. Festival also said in a statement it would continue as planned for July 31 to Aug. 2.

“These are hard times for people that work in arts and culture, and local businesses in small communities like ours,” said the statement.

“Many events, tours, and public gatherings are being impacted and we encourage you to find other ways to support these people. Buying merchandise, paying for music, or buying gift certificates are all ways we can support each other.”

Other festivals in North America, meanwhile, are either being postponed or cancelled. The South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, which was set to begin Friday, was called off. Southern California’s Coachella, one of the biggest annual music festivals in America, was pushed back from April to October.

Related: Nelson and COVID-19: everything you need to know

Meanwhile in Nelson, several local promoters have announced cancellations.

Ryan Martin of Hume Hotel told the Star all March and April shows scheduled at Spiritbar have been postponed, while the popular Grapes and Grains event that was supposed to run April 25 has been cancelled for the year.

Bloom Nightclub also said in a statement it was temporarily suspending operations as of Friday.

“The health and safety of our team, as well as our guests and artists, is our No. 1 priority. … We feel that the transient nature of our artists and guests, coupled with the close proximity of people in the club, could put our community at risk.”

The Royal meanwhile has cancelled all events through May 1, is limiting capacity to 50 and has changed its closing time to midnight.

The provincial government announced a ban this week on gatherings of more than 250 people in an effort to contain the spread of COVID-19.

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tyler.harper@nelsonstar.com

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