CHALLIS, Idaho — A popular music festival in the central Idaho town of Challis has been canceled this year because of coronavirus concerns, organizers announced Monday.
The 2020 Braun Brothers Reunion Festival was scheduled for Aug. 6-8.
"We held out as long as we possibly could in hopes that we would be able to pull off the festival safely this year but after carefully considering all options, due to dozens of issues that are beyond our control concerning the Covid-19 pandemic, we must do what’s best for our fans, friends, family, artists, the community of Challis and our fellow Idahoans," the Braun family, who hosts the festival, wrote. "We are devastated to share this news with you. 'The show must go on' is in our DNA, and this is the first time in the history of the event that we’ve had to cancel. It is our hope that everyone understands how difficult this decision was, and why we feel this is the right thing to do."
Ultimately, the Brauns said, moving forward with the concert series was not worth the risk of fans, performers, volunteers, or staff falling ill. Next year's Braun Brothers Reunion Festival is set for Aug. 12-14, 2021.
Organizers of the event said they understand the financial impact the cancellation will have on local businesses, which typically enjoy a boom of attendees renting hotel rooms and campsites, buying food, and shopping in Challis during the festival.
"We encourage folks to visit Custer County this summer and support the many local businesses that make our festival possible," the Brauns wrote.
Refunds will be issued immediately to everyone who purchased tickets, and are expected to take five to ten days to be credited back onto people's accounts. The festival is asking guests to be patient with local hotels, campgrounds and RV parks as they go through the process of canceling and refunding.
"Thanks again to our sponsors and all of you who have made this such an amazing event over the years," the Braun family wrote. "We can’t thank you enough for your support and understanding. We look forward to seeing you all in Challis in 2021!"