SISTERS, Ore. - The Sisters Folk Festival said Tuesday it has notified pass holders that they can claim a partial refund on their tickets for the 2017 Festival, canceled due to wildfire smoke and the health hazards it posted.
In an announcement from SFF, organizers stated:
"Cancelling the 2017 Sisters Folk Festival, our biggest fundraiser, was the most difficult decision we’ve ever had to make. But given the information, projections and advice we received at the time and taking into account the health and welfare of our artists, patrons and volunteers, we wouldn’t hesitate to make the same decision again. In fact, we were advised by the Director of Deschutes County Health Services that, “if this were a publicly-funded or government-organized event, I would recommend its cancellation.”
"Sisters Folk Festival, Inc. is a non-profit that enriches lives through music and arts education and programming. We invest over $250,000 every year into programs in grades k-12 in the Sisters schools. Programs like the Americana Project where students learn to play guitar, write and perform their own songs. The Luthier Program at Sisters High School teaches young people a wide variety of math, engineering and woodworking skills while they craft their own custom guitar or ukulele. Under-served youth in Sisters are able to take piano, dance or other arts-based lessons thanks to a scholarship program funded by SFF. And that’s just a sampling of the programming we support with the money we raise from the annual Folk Festival.
"The Sisters Folk Festival embodies a sense of community that’s hard to put into words. The connection that emerges between artists and audience is unique and special. We are heartbroken for that loss of community and for the economic loss to the community of Sisters that has already endured a harsh winter and a devastating fire season.
"Cancelling the Festival two days before it was to start means we incurred a significant portion of the expenses of the event. Between the expenses we have incurred, the programs we are committed to funding and the refund we are able to offer, we will have fully expended the pass revenue we received – and then some."
After much deliberation and soul-searching, SFF offered pass-holders two options. They can make their pass purchase a tax-deductible donation to support the arts & music programming of SFF or accept a nominal refund of 35% and a donation acknowledgement for the balance of the pass price.
"Cancelling this year’s Festival was a blow to our artists, our community and especially to you, our loyal patrons. We hope you will join us next year. The Sisters Folk Festival will be back – stronger and better than ever.
We appreciate your outpouring of support, understanding and generosity more than we can ever express."
For further information about the cancellation, process for claiming a donation acknowledgement or refund, pass-holders were provided with this link https://sistersfolkfestival.org/refund-faqs.