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Rockin' River Fest in Merritt will go ahead

Last Updated Jul 21, 2017 at 12:55 pm PDT

(Source: rockinriverfest.com)

Ticket sales for Merritt festival heavily impacted by wildfires: organizer

Charity efforts will be made during festival in Merritt for BC wildfire relief efforts

KAMLOOPS (NEWS 1130) – One of the unexpected victims of wildfires burning near Kamloops is this summer’s Rockin’ River Fest in Merritt.

Ticket sales have been soft even though the smoke and flames are far, far away from the outdoor venue.

This year’s festival running over the August long weekend is headlined by country music legend Willie Nelson which would normally be a huge draw, but organizer Kenny Hess says he’s only sold a fraction of seats, less than two weeks from the festival starting.

“The impact on ticket sales has been dramatic. We’re running at about ten to 20 per cent of what we should be selling at this time of year.”

Hess adds there’s no risk of new fires being sparked by smokers attending Rockin’ River Fest.

“We have never allowed open flames. This year, we’ve gone a step farther in that you’re not allowed to smoke, except in one designated area.”

He says there was no doubt the show would go on.

“Without a question, the show is going ahead. Even if not one more person bought a ticket, the show is still going on. Everybody’s paid (laughs).”

He says it’s too late to add an extra night for a benefit concert, but ‘the boot will still be passed around’ to collect cash donations for the Red Cross.

For tickets to the festival click here.