Rockland-Bergen Music Festival cancelled because of rain

Rockland-Bergen cancel

This photo, illustrating the condition of German Masonic Park, has been posted on the Rockland-Bergen Music Festival’s Facebook page.

Though good weather is expected for this weekend, the two outdoor shows of the Rockland-Bergen Music Festival — scheduled for June 22-23 at German Masonic Park in Tappan, N.Y. — have been cancelled, due to the rain-soaked condition of the park.

John Prine and Steve Earle had been scheduled to co-headline the tour, now in its sixth year. Others in the lineup included Willie Nile, James Maddock, Williams Honor, Donna the Buffalo and Joe Purdy.

The festival’s indoor shows — at the Turning Point in Piermont, N.Y., and the ’76 House in Tappan — will go on as scheduled. For information, visit rocklandmusicfestival.com.

In a statement, festival founder and organizer Joe D’Urso pledges that the festival will be back next year “in one form or another.”

Here is D’Urso’s full statement:

Very sadly, due to the extreme amount of rain we have had the last six days and the current condition of the field at the park, we have made the decision to cancel the outdoor shows of this years RBMF due to safety concerns for all.

Myself, the production company and town feel we cannot safely erect major staging and all production items that are needed on the field and protect the safety of all patrons, artists and workers.

The field has been extremely compromised during this past week by the non stop rain we have experienced; with yet another downpour only a few hours ago, in this area and another one expected today before it clears.

The load in and production set up usually takes one and a half to two days but the issue is you can’t even walk in many area let alone drive vehicles on there. And even if you could, the safety of a structure is in question and lead to this decision. It looks like it will take weeks for that area to be dry, safe and usable. All other indoor shows will go on as scheduled.

I am working with Eventbrite at the moment and every ticket buyer/patron will receive a full refund of tickets purchased.

As many of you know, I have been working on this weekend for over 9 months and this decision is made with a heavy heart but I cannot and will not in clear conscience put anyone at a safety risk. I have too much love for all the artists involved and all our patrons old and new to the RBMF.

We will be back next year in one form or another be it outdoor or indoor, as I still believe the Rockland-Bergen area deserves a music event with talents like the great John Prine, Steve Earle and the other 25 artists that were due to perform this weekend.

I’m also, I think sad is the right word, that so many of you won’t get a chance to meet the 16 charities we had planned to have on site each day for this 6th RBMF So many people have forged new relationships and friendships here in past years and to hear those stories made my “inner Harry Chapin and Pete Seeger” explode with joy.

Yes, we will be back, just not this calendar year as the planning of this takes a lot of time.

I thank all our sponsors and volunteers who make each year possible. I apologize to any of you who have traveled and for any inconvenience this may have caused you. I wish I could control the weather. Don’t we all at times…

The crazy / painful thing is that this weekend looks to be very nice but one nice weekend cannot dry up what we recently experienced. I don’t take this decision lightly as the RBMF is a labor of love each year but as a friend of mine said to me, “some labors are harder than others”.

I close this note by saying:

“I wish you love – I wish you happiness, I guess I wish – you all the best”

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