Letter written explaining the postponement of the festival from Sept 2017 to May 11-13 2018:
We're writing to let you know we have to postpone the festival to May 11-13 2018 due to multiple large wildfires in the area and the hazardous air quality from the smoke. While wildfires are a danger here in this area every summer, the number and intensity of these fires are abnormal. And unfortunately equally unusual is the lack of rain this summer and there is none in the forecast between now and the festival to help put out the fires. Normally by mid or late September, the summer fires have all been put out by rain but this has not been a normal year. Although the fires at this moment pose no direct threat to the festival grounds, the surrounding towns of Mazama and (parts of) Winthrop are under a level 1 evacuation notice and the air quality here is quite poor, fluctuating from unhealthy to very unhealthy for most of the past few weeks with no relief in sight.
We had billed this festival as a festival of music and outdoor recreation in a beautiful place but as of right now outdoor recreation is out of the question, the place is not beautiful, it would be unwise for the bands to perform under these smoky conditions and bringing more people into an area where the air is unhealthy to breathe and the fire danger is so extreme would not be a good idea. Seea the pictures below(one from this spring before the fires and one smoky photo from now)
We have rescheduled the festival for May 11 & 12 2018 and are hoping to have all the same bands if they are available(we're communicating with them right now to get them all onboard for the new date--stay tuned to the website and our social media for the latest news). At that time of year, the chances of a wildfire are very slim to basically non-existent and the area is beautiful with all the wildflowers blooming and the snow still capping the higher mountains surrounding the area. And there is still tons of world class recreation available right from the festival site and actually, in May the trails at the festival site are even better and the Methow river is great for whitewater rafting and kayaking! We would love to have each of you still join us for the festival in May.
For those of you who already bought your tickets we offer each of you the option to roll over your festival tickets and camping passes to the new date in May but we will offer a 100% refund of the ticket/pass prices if that doesn't work for you or if you can't attend for any other reason. We will assume you want to rollover to May if we don't hear from you but if you want the refund please email James@outdoorartsandrec.org
And huge thanks to everyone who had offered to volunteer, we would still love to have your help in May so we'll be in touch to check in with you to see if you're available for the new dates.
Long story short is we're very sorry to be postponing and we're really sad but we are excited to do this thing in May and really hope you can all join us!