MUSKEGON, Mich. — Organizers have canceled the 2021 Michigan Irish Music Festival for the second year in a row because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The decision was based on current guidance for live events provided by state officials, the continued uncertainty surrounding the pandemic and the current number of active cases of the virus in Michigan, according to a news release Friday.
“We are unable to proceed with producing a festival in the format that we have established and on the level of quality our patrons, volunteers, musicians, vendors and sponsors have come to expect,” the news release said. “Our board continues to monitor Michigan restrictions, health guidelines and capacity limits to determine what type of events will be permissible in the future and we will plan accordingly going forward.”
Board members considered several details in making their decision, including the unknown timeline for allowing large gatherings and the comfort level of patrons who want to attend.
It’s unclear if mass gatherings like the Michigan Irish Music Festival will be able to operate at full capacity – without restrictions – before September.
Months of planning goes into the festival, including logistics with attendees, vendors and entertainers from across Michigan, the country and around the world.
A lot of the festival’s entertainer’s come from Ireland, Scotland and Nova Scotia, so the unknown aspects of travel restrictions also played a role in the board’s decision.
Organizers plan to contact those who have already purchased tickets within the next 14 days.