Village Cancels 2020 Pleasantville Music Festival
The 2020 Pleasantville Music Festival has been canceled because of the coronavirus.
Executive Director Bruce Figler and Pleasantville Mayor Peter Scherer said Wednesday there were too many uncertainties to hold an event that is three months away and attracts a large crowd.
Even if the cases wane in New York and throughout the tristate area before summer, other parts of the country are likely to still be fighting the pandemic.
“Come two months from now are you going to feel comfortable standing out in a field with 5,000 strangers?” Figler said. “I think the general public is a little traumatized here and I think just expecting people to forget about all this stuff in a couple of months is probably not realistic.”
The 16th annual festival, which typically draws upwards of 5,000 music fans, would have been held on Saturday, July 11 at Parkway Field. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has extended the social distancing directive through at least Apr. 29 and it is unclear when it may be lifted.
Scherer said commitments would soon be needed for the bands that would appear and for the festival’s suppliers.
With public health officials unable to provide any estimate when events with large audiences can resume, canceling the festival was a prudent decision, he said.
“It would appear unlikely that a mass gathering was going to make sense in July,” Scherer said. “Hopefully, the pendulum is starting to swing back to the center, but I can almost guarantee that some sort of social distancing will still be required at that point.”
Figler said that most of the festival’s lineup had been set and the village was hoping to soon sign the contracts with the performers to move ahead. Usually, the lineup is announced by the end of April.
However, with much of the work to prepare for the event soon ready to ramp up, it was best to cancel now rather than expending the time and effort, which could have gone for naught, he said.
Scherer and Figler said that they are holding out hope that the village can organize some sort of special event for the fall that could feature music, but that is far from certain.
The village plans to resume the festival in July 2021.
Figler said that with so many people suffering health-wise and financially, it’s important to keep a proper perspective.
“In the spectrum of disappointments, this is pretty low,” he said.
For those who purchased festival tickets online in advance through TicketWeb, ticket costs and fees will be automatically refunded to purchasers’ credit card accounts within two weeks. No other
action will be necessary. For those who purchased tickets directly from the festival box office at the Pleasantville Recreation Center, refund instructions are available at the festival’s website, www.PleasantvilleMusicFestival.com.
Martin has more than 30 years experience covering local news in Westchester and Putnam counties, including a frequent focus on zoning and planning issues. He has been editor-in-chief of The Examiner since its inception in 2007. Read more from Martin’s editor-author bio here. Read Martin’s archived work here: https://www.theexaminernews.com/author/martin-wilbur2007/