Mission Creek Festival and 'Welcome to Nightvale' both delayed due to coronavirus
Mission Creek Festival suspended its 2020 lineup Thursday, less than 24 hours after the popular Iowa City festival said it had no plans to alter its scheduling.
The news about the festival, previously set to start April 1, follows concerns that large gatherings could exacerbate the spread of the novel coronavirus known as COVID-19.
In an email Wednesday, John Schickedanz, marketing director at The Englert, said festival organizers were "working closely with city and county officials" and that "alternatives" would be considered if the safety of patrons, staff and artists could not be ensured.
Following that statement, increased measures went into place locally in an attempt to limit the spread of the coronavirus. On Thursday evening, Mission Creek Festival and Englert Theatre Executive Director Andre Perry put out a statement announcing that the event may take place at a later date, albeit not "in its current form."
"We are working with festival artists and authors to set up a special Mission Creek event in the late-summer/early-fall," the statement reads. "We plan to have details early next week including: The dates and lineup of the new event (and) a list of artists who will not be able to make the new event."
The update emphasized that exchange and refund options are being provided to ticket holders.
"As a nonprofit organization navigating a challenging period, we are extremely appreciative of any patron who donates the cost of their ticket in lieu of a refund," the statement read, "however, we understand that is not always financially possible."
Mission Creek Festival has been an annual local event since 2005. The goal of the festival is to promote authors and musicians and features dozens of artists from across the country in a series of weekend events.
More than 70 individuals and organizations were originally scheduled to appear at the festival. It's unclear how many of those planned guests would able to accommodate a later date.
"We are grateful for your support of the festival and the arts in our area," the Mission Creek release reads. "We are sending our love to our community, artists, and staff."
Meanwhile, one event scheduled for March 26 — "Welcome to Nightvale" — announced on social media Friday morning that it "will be postponing all remaining March and April live shows."
"We hope to reschedule and tickets will be honored," the post said. "We’ll keep you updated and you can visit the venue's website or reach out to your point of purchase with specific ticket questions."
"Welcome to Nightvale" is a long-running podcast that has published books and toured with live shows. The podcast held a previous live show at The Englert in 2015.
Isaac Hamlet covers arts, entertainment and culture at the Press-Citizen. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or (319)-688-4247, follow him on Twitter @IsaacHamlet