Rockin' River Country Music Fest organizers hope smoke won't be an issue, but won't refund if it is | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Rockin' River Country Music Fest organizers hope smoke won't be an issue, but won't refund if it is

Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Rockin' River Music Fest
August 02, 2017 - 11:42 AM

KAMLOOPS - Despite a special air quality statement in effect for the Merritt area, Rockin' River Country Music Festival president Kenny Hess says they are going ahead as scheduled and they will not be offering refunds to anybody unable to attend due to the air quality.

"To me, I don't think it will be an issue," says Hess. "I have been here for two and a half weeks and we have had two days of smoke."

The festival is in Merritt for the third year in a row and gets underway tomorrow, August 3, and runs until Sunday, August 6. Meanwhile the Environment Canada special weather statement for Merritt says to avoid strenuous outdoor activity and recommends staying indoors if you have any breathing issues.

"I know there are concerns we are not giving refunds. You have to look at it from my point of view; I don't get a refund from the artists if people don't show up. You know, if it's a really hot day and you don't feel like you want to go to an outdoor concert there's no way I can refund people because it's a hot day," Hess says.

He goes on to say the only way he could offer refunds is if people are in danger, and he does not feel that is the case.

The festival has heard a few concerns from the public regarding the smoke, though Hess says people seem to be more concerned about what happens if a fire breaks out nearby.

"We've been in constant contact with forestry and all of the first responders. None of them have any concerns beyond the same concerns you would have any year," he says.

Hess's confidence that the smoke will dissipate in time for the festival to not be impacted is fueled by the Environment Canada forecast which calls for smoke on the opening day followed by three days of nothing but sunshine and temperatures in the mid-30's.

The Rockin' River Country Music Fest has been held in Merritt since 2015 and sees thousands of music fans descend on the town to see some of the biggest names in country music. Among the acts this year are Willie Nelson, Toby Keith, and The Band Perry.

For more information on the special weather statement, go here.

To learn about how to protect your lungs from wildfire smoke, go here.

For Rockin' River Fest ticket information, go here.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Mike McDonald or call 250-819-3723 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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News from © iNFOnews, 2017

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