“We do not have enough herd immunity to protect everybody and allow that type of event to happen,” Henry announced during an April 18 press conference. “Large parades, large mass gatherings where we all come together — those will not be happening this summer.”
Taking place since 1998 at a private ranch in the Kootenay Mountain region of southeastern British Columbia, Shambhala 2020 was set to host a lineup including Rezz, Tycho, Richie Hawtin, deadmau5' techno alter-ego Testpilot and more. Roughly 12,000 fans were expected for the festival.
In lieu of refunds, organizers are offering 2020 ticket holders a ticket to Shambhala to be redeemed during one of the three upcoming festivals. "Unfortunately as per our terms and conditions," reads the FAQ section of the festival's website, "all sales are final so we are unable to process a refund. In saying that, we hope that our 3-year hold policy will accommodate our guests and ensure that they are able to get the value out of their ticket." The same policy applies to lodging packages.
The FAQ page posits that it is the festival's independent status -- Shambhala is a family run event and has never had corporate sponsorships -- that requires this refund policy. "By doing this, we take on all of the operating costs that might have otherwise been taken care of by corporate sponsorship funds. In addition to this, like most other music festivals, we have significant overheads that make refunding tickets impossible for us."