Rockin’ River Music Festival in Merritt announced with a heavy heart on Friday that their 2023 event would be cancelled due to financial struggles, despite their best efforts to overcome them.
The festival expressed its gratitude to the City of Merritt and its supportive staff, fans, and artists – many of whom have been loyal attendees since the first Rockin’ River Music Festival.
This news comes after an announcement from two more West Coast music festivals facing uncertain futures. Vancouver Folk Music Festival was forced to cancel its 2023 edition due to rising production costs while Squamish Constellation Festival is considering whether it should take place at all, seeking investors for a possible 2023 edition.
A statement released by Rockin’ River highlighted that they had done everything in their power to ensure that the event ran as planned for this year but were ultimately unable to overcome the economic obstacles preventing them from moving forward with the festival in 2023. They acknowledged the enthusiasm from their fans towards the festival but ultimately could not find a way around their financial predicament.
Merritt Mayor Neil Menard released a sympathetic statement following this news, noting how important Rockin’ River was for his city and expressing his disappointment at having to part ways with such an iconic event for his community. He also thanked those involved in making the event possible for over a decade, commending their dedication and hard work.
Organizers of Rockin’ River shared that they will now be focusing on other ventures within Merritt’s thriving music scene, hoping to create more opportunities for local musicians and bands. They urged everyone involved in prior editions of Rockin’ River Music Festivals to look forward rather than back, reassuring former attendees that they hope to see each other again soon.
Despite this difficult news, fans will no doubt continue supporting music festivals both large and small – even if they don’t meet at Rockin’ River this coming summer!