Merritt's Rockin' River Fest one of two B.C. festivals to fold this year | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Merritt's Rockin' River Fest one of two B.C. festivals to fold this year

The Rockin' River music festival is canceled this year after a 2022 return from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK/Rockin' River Music Fest

Merritt's Rockin' River festival will take another hiatus this year, but it's not calling it quits yet.

"We hope to see you again soon," a message on its website reads.

The country music festival is known for bringing big country acts to Merritt, including headliners Tim McGraw, Eric Church and Keith Urban in recent years.

After a 2022 return from the COVID-19 pandemic, organizers couldn't beat "economic obstacles" and it won't return for 2023, according to its website. Like many other music festivals, it was forced to cancel events during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, taking two years off.

READ MORE: Vancouver folk festival cancels, Squamish's future uncertain due to soaring costs

"We want to thank the City of Merritt who has always welcomed us with open arms, the incredible artists, staff and most importantly – you, the fans. Many of whom have been loyal since year one," the message on the Rockin' River website reads.

It's one of a few B.C. festivals facing steep costs coming out of the pandemic.

The Vancouver Folk Music Festival cancelled its 2023 event earlier this month, citing unrealistic or unsustainable costs. The non-profit that organizes the event then dissolved its society altogether last week.

The Squamish Constellation Festival is on the fence, with organizers expected to decide within weeks whether it will cancel this year's event.

All three events returned last year, but costs for equipment like fencing and stages have inflated since the pandemic, according to the Canadian Press.

— With files from the Canadian Press.

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