Grand Teton Music Festival, Targhee Fest both off for 2020

JACKSON, Wyo. — Music-loving concertgoers are going to be hard-pressed for entertainment this summer as major venues and signature events continue to fall by the wayside due to concerns over the pandemic.

Grand Teton Music Festival (GTMF) announced today the cancellation of its entire summer programming and Grand Targhee Resort said it is pulling the plug on Targhee Fest and the Bluegrass Festival.

GTMF co-chairs Barbara McCelvey and John Costello commented, “It is with very heavy hearts that the board has made this decision, as we know how much the community of Jackson Hole loves our music festival. However, our first responsibility is to ensure the health and safety of our audiences, musicians, guest artists, staff, and the people of Teton County—and canceling the in-person festival is, sadly, the only way to do that.”

GTMF did announce an immersive filmed experience that will be streamed on August 21, 22, and 23—what would have been the final days of the 2020 Festival. Buckrail will have more about that at a later date.

Interim executive director Simon Woods was looking forward to his first season with the Festival since being named to last year to head the operation. Alas, his first summer will be one no one could have envisioned.

“Over recent weeks, we’ve been dreaming about what a virtual summer season could look and sound like, and how we could fulfill our mission in ways other than through live concerts,” Woods said. “With great music-making exquisitely filmed, interviews and other filmed footage, we hope to bring into people’s homes the unique magic of music, people and nature that makes Grand Teton Music Festival so very special.”

In addition, a smaller group of GTMF musicians will come together in August under the baton of Music Director Donald Runnicles to record and film Music from the Mountains, three concerts of inspiring music in Walk Festival Hall.

Runnicles added, “The world is craving beauty and serenity in this moment of great uncertainty; and for us to make music this August for our audiences, in whatever configuration is safe and feasible, will be a joy for me and our wonderful GTMF musicians. May Music from the Mountains inspire us through the great repertoire of past and present, reaffirming the profound bond of humanity that prevails even through the hardest of times.”

Ghee grounded

Over the hill in Alta, news was more of the same as highly-anticipated summer gatherings were called off today.

“Due to the uncertainty of the current COVID-19 pandemic and the health and safety of our festival family, Grand Targhee employees, vendors, and the incredible extended musical family, we have made the very painful decision to cancel Targhee Fest, Grand Targhee Bluegrass Festival, and Targhee Music Camp,” the resort released today in a prepared statement. “We are deeply saddened at the loss of some of our most cherished summer gatherings, but we look forward to rocking the Tetons with all of you in 2021.

The resort is refunding advanced lodging and camping reservations or moving them to 2021. Email the resort to change your plans.

2021 Festival Dates
Targhee Fest: July 9-11, 2021
Grand Targhee Bluegrass Festival: August 13-15, 2021
Targhee Music Camp: August 9-12, 2021

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