The Blues at the Crossroads Festival has been canceled for this year, event organizer Connie Wrin announced Wednesday.
It was scheduled for Sept. 11 and 12.
“This was going to be our 20-year anniversary,” Wrin said.
She made the decision Tuesday night, although she spent several difficult days arriving at that conclusion.
“It would be irresponsible of me at this point with the numbers [of COVID-19 cases] going up to move forward,” Wrin said. The numbers of COVID-19 cases are surging in some states, with some increases in Indiana as well.
“It just isn’t worth the risk,” Wrin said. “Too many people attend the festival, and we can’t have social distancing. It would be a risk to attendees, to volunteers and to band members” as well as anyone else associated with the popular downtown event.
She told her board Wednesday afternoon and they “totally supported” the decision.
“I told them it wasn’t responsible to move forward,” Wrin said.
The event typically draws about 6,000 people.
But fans of the blues can mark their calendars for next year: Wrin hopes to have Blues at the Crossroads Sept. 10 and 11, 2021.
Among those disappointed by the news was guitarist-singer Dicky James, from Marshall, Illinois, who has played at the festival.
“It’s understandable, but at the same time, disappointing,” James said. “Connie has over these years developed it into a really big music show.”
It brings a lot of people to Terre Haute, which helps the local economy, he said.
But it’s also an event that brings people together, something very much needed in these difficult times, James said. The pandemic is bringing stress and challenges to people’s live.
“We’re all going through this and we have no way to get together to let each other know it will be okay,” James said.
The blues music genre “is a big release for people to kind of forget about their troubles and stuff they are going through,” he said.