Blue Ridge Rock Festival 2020 UPDATE

Good Evening All – Statements are not always the most exhilarating experience, so let’s kick things off with some excitement. I will pick TWO people who SHARE this Post to win a VIP Ticket to BRRF 2020! Now, onto business…

We have long labeled the Blue Ridge community as a Family. I understand “Family” is not the most rocker-friendly/hardcore term some may think of when they reflect on our community. Yet, the camaraderie and electricity that emanates from the fans of this Festival is one that has left me unable to identify a term more fitting than Family. Why in the world am I bringing this up? When I think of an ideal Family, I think of one that rallies together in times of hardship. As the individual that possesses an unique birds-eye view of all aspects of Blue Ridge, I feel prompted to share with you briefly what I have seen over the past few weeks. I have witnessed literally thousands of you in comments, messages, fan pages, emails, phone calls, etc. continue to operate with passionate faith; seemingly doing everything in your power to will this Festival to happen. On the other hand, I am observing everyone on the music business side of things from agents to managers to artists, etc. matching that same fight to ensure that Blue Ridge not only takes place, but delivers our best year yet. In my ten years in the industry, I have never experienced a degree of unity this strong. For that, I say to every person reading this – fan, artist, vendor, sponsor, agent, staff – thank you. There are just no greater words to be said.

While Blue Ridge could still inevitably have to cancel, we feel we have definitely not arrived at that point yet. Given that we have still five months prior to the Festival, we are going to exercise some of this time to see how Virginia, and the country as a whole, re-open. Many larger concerts and festivals set to take place much earlier than our mid-September dates, are still proceeding forward as planned. To the best of my knowledge and understanding, the LTL trifesta situation is much different from that of Blue Ridge. They had three festivals in a row scheduled. Each were anticipating crowds far greater than ours. All were located in a major market and possessed financial expenditures that logically dwarfed what we have here with one singular, smaller Festival here in small town Virginia. Given the size and scope of all of this, they would presumably need to have staff fly in from around the country several weeks prior to the launch of their festivals. Thankfully, our locally owned and comprised complexion actually offers us the flexibility to be able to navigate these hurdles fairly efficiently. As a result, we are going to leverage this ability and select the path of hope right now. While things may be grim worldwide, we are choosing to believe. We are electing to unite with our Festival Community and maintain faith that maybe, just maybe, we can all come together this September for a weekend we will never forget.

In my first Festival Update, I reiterated the principle vision of Blue Ridge Rock Festival. This Festival was designed to be more than just three days of rock n’ roll. Our goal, through your voice, is to create a sustained, positive impact in the lives of our base year round. We do not want to be just another Festival that you interact with for a short period annually. If we slip into that philosophy, then we likely fall short of curating a truly Fan Driven event. That is why we are constantly seeking out your feedback and opening dialogue with so many of you throughout the year as we plan. It is why I try to hop on here and write you all whenever feasible. Yes, it absolutely can lead to very long statements that are not the most reader friendly. I will take that as a negative every time in exchange for the benefits I see in doing this though. This level of communication continues to pull back the veil as much as possible, something I believe is invaluable as a potential consumer. It is again, closing and strengthening the bond between you the fan and us the Festival. It is equipping you with transparency, no matter if it is good, bad or ugly. It’s not the norm, sure, but for many of you, it seems this Festival holds a special place in your heart. Why should you only get to channel some of that happiness for a few days each September then? This is one of the very reasons why we release artists periodically. In 2020, that strategy has felt more purposeful than ever. In a time where so many of us are searching for things that will bring us joy each day, it is our hope that the Artist and Festival Announcements can provide just a sprinkle of anticipation and excitement for you each week.

Jon Slye
CEO & Founder

P.S. To read my first statement on COVID-19, and the measures we are taking to serve you during this pandemic, please visit: https://bit.ly/FanCommitment

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