2021 FLORENCE WINTER MUSIC FESTIVAL--UPDATE
Well, it almost happened. Kind of.
Invitations were out to performers, negotiations with potential headliners were ongoing, peripheral events were in the planning stages.
The 19th consecutive Florence Winter Music Festival, scheduled for January 29 to 31, is now cancelled.
The annual three-day festival that draws hundreds from across western states offers bluegrass, new and traditional folk, and Americana music by Grammy award winners and nationally touring groups. As part of the festival there are also music performance workshops, an artisan fair, food and drink, and the annual Kiwanis Kids Concerts attended by more than 1000 area grade schoolers, teachers, and chaperones.
“After walking carefully through the known facts and the many uncertainties, our organizing committee determined regretfully that our wonderful festival is not doable for January 2021,” wrote event chair Kirk Mlinek to Florence Events Center (FEC) director Kevin Rhodes and the Friends of the Florence Events Center board of directors that produces the event. He also expressed the group’s gratitude for all the previous years’ sponsors.
“The Phase 2 restrictions alone (100 persons in the FEC’s 455-seat theater) would mean an extremely limited audience, and of course, a cap on income from ticket prices,” he added. “We waited until the last possible moment to reach this difficult decision. However, we continue looking at all options for performances and events once the State of Oregon starts to open up more fully, including the 2022 Winter Music Festival.”
The Friends of the Florence Events Center’s mission is to raise funds for performance grants and capital improvements at the 21,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art venue. Performance grants are made in response to applications from qualifying nonprofits for purposes of offsetting FEC rental costs.
In 2019-2020 the group provided more than $4,000 in performance grants and more than $20,000 to the FEC for a video security system, an upright piano, professional quality wireless microphones and other audio equipment, and covered costs for landscaping improvements. Events like the Winter Music Festival, Festival of Books, Indoor Yard Sale, art gallery galas, and others are the group’s primary fundraisers.
For more information about the all-volunteer non-profit Friends of the Florence Events Center, its many events, or how to join or volunteer, contact president Rachel Pearson at 541-997-1994.