The Beatles at the Ridge music festival will have to skip a year, due to the coronavirus pandemic. Organizers of the event in downtown Walnut Ridge announced that the 2020 festival has been cancelled, and they are already turning their attention to the ’21 festival.
The festival had originally been scheduled for Sept. 18 and 19, 2020.
“Even though the festival was three months off, this is the time of year when much of the organization takes place. It was time to lock in commitments and sign contracts, so we had to make a decision,” said Mayor Charles Snapp.
“Several members of our committee took part in a webinar last week outlining the steps necessary to conduct a festival this fall. We quickly realized that we couldn’t provide the level of safety we desired or meet the guidelines in place if we held the festival this fall. We made the difficult decision to cancel for this year,” Snapp said.
In a sense, the festival is the victim of its own success, having quickly grown to an event that draws several thousand people to downtown Walnut Ridge every year.
“This is a free festival, and we don’t limit access,” the mayor noted. “Among other concerns, it would have been next to impossible to provide the sanitizing stations that would be required or assure the necessary social distancing for a crowd as large as we always see at Beatles at the Ridge.”
But Snapp said Beatles at the Ridge will be back stronger than ever in 2021. The Liverpool Legends, a Beatles tribute band that has headlined the festival for the past several years, has already signed on for next year’s event, as have other bands.
“We have booked the Liverpool Legends, Lockhouse Orchestra and TRIPP for September 18, 2021. We’ll have the same great stage, light and sound crew, so we are going to have a super lineup for safer times,” he said.
For more information on the festival, go to beatlesattheridge.com.