On Thursday, January 28, just months after announcing their lineup, organizers for the Big Barrel Country Music Festival at The Woodlands of Dover, Delaware International Speedway announced that the music and camping event has been cancelled. In October 2015, organizers Red Frog Events and Goldenvoice announced that Brad Paisley, Eric Church and Sam Hunt would headline the three-day festival scheduled to kick off June 24, 2016 ending on June 26, 2016. The Festival was to feature a star-studded lineup. The festival’s organizers, Red Frog Events and Goldenvoice, which also produce the Firefly Music Festival, did not announce a reason for the cancellation. However, a leak from one staff member reported, “It was too close to some other major country festivals in Wisconsin.” With Delaware being states away, the cancellation begs for more realistic reasons.
The organizers apologized for the cancellation, but posted no solid explanation. The official statement from Big Barrel Country Music Festival officials, says about this year’s event “We have made the difficult decision to cancel Big Barrel Country Music Festival, due to take place at The Woodlands in Dover, Delaware on June 24-26, 2016. We sincerely apologize to all the people this decision affects: the fans, artists, industry partners, venue, City of Dover and State of Delaware; all of whom welcomed us with open arms for our inaugural festival in 2015.”
To Big Barrel Country Music Festival eventgoers the news was certainly a shock, since many people had already purchased tickets for the festival. The reason reported for the cancellation, is certainly confounding. Given the fact that Red Frog Events puts on obstacle-filled 5K races called Warrior Dashes, laid off 29 of its roughly 105 Chicago employees on July 21, 2015 might be of interest. However, Red Frog stated, “The move comes as Red Frog continues its effort to expand beyond the world of adventure racing into hosting music and food festivals.”
In late 2014, Red Frog Events and Goldenvoice announced their first co-produced festival, the Big Barrel Country Music Festival inaugural event which featured headliners, Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert, Carrie Underwood and more. The event in 2015 was a huge success and drew in more than 30,000 country music fans with such an impressive lineup. In addition to top-name talent, Big Barrel featured numerous attractions, including Harvest Moon Dance Hall and Barn Burner Saloon.
Beginning Monday, February 1, 2016, ticket holders will receive complete refunds, including all service charges. Big Barrel Country Music Festival asks festivalgoers to visit their ticketing page. The festival was advertising travel packages for the weekend as recently as January 18, since making the announcement, the festival’s website appears to be wiped clean, and its Twitter account has been deleted. Is the staff member’s reason valid? Fans are confused that the event was abruptly stopped because it conflicted with major country festivals states away.
The website for Big Barrel Country Music Festival, does, however, answer questions about ticket refunds.
Q: Will I receive a refund and how much will it be?
A: All ticket purchasers will automatically receive full refunds credited to the card used on all items and donations purchased, including all service charges.
Q: How will I be refunded?
A: We will attempt to issue the credit to the card used for the purchase. If this is not possible, you will be contacted to determine another method for refund.
Q: When will refunds be initiated?
A: We will begin the refund process on Monday, February 1st and continue until completed, which may take a few days. You will receive an “Order Cancellation” email to the email address used when you purchased your tickets.
Q: When will my refund appear on my credit card statement?
A: Credit card refunds can take anywhere from two to 30 days before they are complete. The first 24 to 48 hours of this period involve the initial refund with the credit card company and the rest depends on your credit card and banks policies. For more detailed information on timing, you should contact the bank who issued your credit card.
Q: What if I have more questions?
A: Please send an email to email@example.com.
The Big Barrel Country Music Festival Goldenvoice and Red Frog Events organizers put on a great event last year, and only time will tell if they can resume the festival sometime in the future. However, fans would be more comfortable with a more solid reason for this cancellation. There has been no word from the camps of Brad Paisley, Hank Williams Jr., Sam Hunt, Tyler Farr, Eli Young Band, Martina McBride, The Band Perry and Lee Brice previously scheduled for the 2016 Big Barrel Country Music Festival.
Red Frog Events, producers of Big Barrel and the Firefly Music Festival, said the cancellation will not affect Firefly, which will continue as scheduled and held in The Woodlands from June 16-19, 2016.