▶️ Bend culture on hold as event planners wait out COVID-19

By MEGHAN GLOVA
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS

Dave Matthews Band, Luke Bryan, will the big names still be coming to Bend?

The Old Mill District says Brandi Carlile has already postponed her stop, and Chris Young has cancelled.

For the rest of the slate, it’s a waiting game.

Aaron Switzer produces for Lay It Out Events, who put on the Bite of Bend (which has been cancelled) and Summerfest.

Switzer wonders, “Are we waiting for a vaccine or are we waiting for distancing guidelines? And that’s the big question.”

When it comes to future events, Lay it Out is using a 45 day approach. Trying not to jump to conclusions until about a month and a half prior to an event.

“It’s possible to do an event 45 days prior we feel,” said Switzer. “And it’s possible to get the information to people in a timely manner at that point.”

The next big festival under consideration is Summerfest. Which is supposed to take place July 11-12.

Switzer says, “It definitely will not roll out in the format that it’s been before. I think that the idea of large crowds gathered in front of a music stage, shoulder to shoulder, I don’t think we’re going to see that in July.”

As for more consistent summer events like Munch and Music and Clear Summer Nights, its organizers, Sionna Productions, are still waiting.

“Of course we don’t want to push the envelope with that,” said Shannon Talbo, owner of Sionna Productions. “We need to be very aware of what restrictions are out there and we will be, of course, very cautious of that before we do anything.”

Talbo says Sionna Productions is staying positive in their planning process.

“It’s such a huge part of what Bend is and that’s our goal. And so we’re continuing with that goal in mind and we’re going to make them bigger and better than ever once it does happen and once things do open up. So we’re excited about that possibility.”

According to Switzer, outside of government regulation, cancelations are a collaborative decision between those putting on the event, vendors, and artists.

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