MARSHALL — It’s been an unusual couple of years for Marshall’s Sounds of Summer festival. A downpour of rain cut short last summer’s outdoor concert featuring Pablo Cruise. And this year, organizers found themselves facing even bigger unknowns because of COVID-19.
In the end, they couldn’t find a way to make events like concerts work with social distancing guidelines.
“We are saddened to announce that the Marshall Sounds of Summer for 2020 has been canceled,” said Sounds of Summer committee president Brock Klaith in a Monday news release. “Due to the current pandemic and the social distancing guidelines in place by the state of Minnesota, we do not find it feasible to have the event. With that being said, we will be back bigger and better for 2021.” Sounds of Summer will be held from Aug. 19-22 in 2021.
Russ Labat, one of the festival organizers, said committee members had tried to think of alternative ways to have events like the Sounds of Summer parade this year. But a “virtual parade” just wouldn’t be the same, and events like an outdoor concert, meals and kids’ inflatables would be challenging to hold while still following social distancing. “We didn’t want to do it halfway,” Labat said of the festival.
The planned main act for this year’s concert, the Johnny Holm Band, won’t be able to perform at the 2021 Sounds of Summer, Labat said. However, he said organizers are looking for performers for next year. Sounds of Summer organizers said they wanted to thank community members and everyone who has supported the festival. They also encouraged people to keep an eye on the Sounds of Summer Facebook page for future updates.
by Deb Gau
June 16, 2020