The dominos continue to fall because of COVID-19, and this time the domino is the Rehoboth Beach Jazz Festival.
Festival organizers announced Aug. 10 that the 2020 festival has been postponed. It would be very hard to follow social distancing guidelines in the Rehoboth Beach Convention Center and the Cape Henlopen High School theater, said Denny Santangini, president of Delaware Celebration of Jazz, the nonprofit that puts on the annual Rehoboth Beach Jazz Festival.
“We know that this will come as an enormous disappointment, not only to our incredible fans who have reached out to us over the last few months to check in, but to the music industry who have taken a massive hit and to the artists who love to perform in front of our sold-out crowds,” said Santangini, in a post on the festival’s Facebook page.
The year’s festival had been scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 15 through Sunday, Oct. 18. Santangini announced the dates for 2021 are Thursday, Oct. 14 through Sunday, Oct. 17. Everything will be the same for next year – seating, time and venues, he said.
“We will always put the safety of our fans, artists, volunteers, sponsors and all the production crews that make it happen year after year first, which is why we know this decision had to be made and that it is the right thing to do,” said Santangini.
Santangini said if a person has purchased tickets to this year’s festival, over the next week they will be receiving an email with details on their options regarding the purchase.
The thing that stings the most is not being able to support the team at Beebe Healthcare, the main beneficiary of the festival, said Santangini, which is why the festival announced the creation of the Be a Hero initiative. He said the plan is to try and keep the jazz music industry alive and raise money for frontline heroes.
There are two ways to join, said Santangini. First, people will have the option to transfer purchased tickets to 2021. Everything will remain the same except for the dates, he said.
The second option would be to give the ticket to a friend, loved one, frontline worker or even a music student, said Santangini, adding that this year’s lineup has been secured for next year.
Santagini said everyone who chooses the Be a Hero options will be entered into a random lottery to receive one of the following gifts: a two-night stay at one of the event’s sponsoring hotels during Jazz Fest 2021; two front-row seats at the 2022 RB Grand Jam Show; or one of three gift certificates to a restaurant sponsor during Jazz Fest 2021.
There will also be the option of a complete refund. For more information, go to rehobothjazz.com.