The big question for festivals this summer in Illinois is whether they should cancel now or to wait it out.

I've worked with a few large festivals in the Rockford. They take a lot of manpower and hours. Not to mention, a huge amount of cash. Even the most successful event has risk. Just one day of bad weather could cost big money and permanently shut down the operation.

Being in that meeting about canceling a show because a storm is on the way could be very stressful. I can't even imagine what those committees are going through right now.

No one knows what the future of COVID-19 holds for us. Do you just take your ball and go home until next year? Do you play the "wait and see" game? Here's what a few of the organizations are thinking in Illinois.

According to,

  • "Deposit deadlines, sponsorship funds, stage rentals, band bookings and organizers' experience levels are shaping whether spring and summer festivals are being canceled months in advance or staying on the calendar in light of the COVID-19 pandemic."
  • "Some already have been called off.  Others, remain on the books as planned, with organizers expressing hopes residents will be safe, ready and willing to attend gatherings again by those dates. They think it's going to be an opportune time for the community to get back out and celebrate, which will probably be much-needed."
  • "Service clubs or cultural groups have to focus on the cause their proceeds support. These organizers say they must protect their money from going down the tubes to secure things like security or fencing for an event that might not happen."
  • "They don't want to risk losing what savings they do have, because their main goal is to give money back to the community. They thought it would be better to call it off sooner rather than continue to seek funding, continue letting vendors sign up and then have to cancel."
  • "Deadlines to execute contracts with performers, tent rentals, food trucks, and the outside services the smaller-scale event needs have been extended. Everybody has been extremely understanding and if anything, they're just as proactive as we are to say, If the event needs to cancel, we're not going to charge cancellation fees or deposits. Everybody's in this together."

As you can see, a lot to think about.

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