Open Sky Music Festival postponed for this year

The Wailers perform at Open Sky 2012

The Wailers perform at Open Sky 2012

Another fledgling Edmonton festival is taking a hiatus – at least for one year.

Producers of the Open Sky Music Festival have announced the postponement of this year’s event, originally scheduled for June 7-9 at Hawrelak Park’s Heritage Amphitheatre. Nathan Richards, who founded the festival in 2010 to showcase bands of the reggae, “surf rock” and related roots genres, issued a statement Wednesday saying he’s taking a break “to focus on my personal health.”

He adds, “I’ve had a few personal setbacks that require me to prioritize myself. This compromises my ability to execute a quality music festival for you, and I don’t want to deliver anything less than excellent.” He says he promises to work hard to bring Open Sky back “bigger and better for you in 2014.”

Last year’s event included a performance by the Wailers in the pouring rain, featuring Bob Marley’s original bassist Aston “Family Man” Barrett, along with such respected local acts as Souljah Fyah and Jeff Morris.

Edmonton GigCity Open Sky While Open Sky will be missed this year by both the fans and some of musicians who play there – already sending their best wishes to Richards on social media – Edmonton’s summer festival scene remains jam-packed. In the Hawrelak Park venue alone, there is the Freewill Shakespeare Festival June 25-July 21; the Interstellar Rodeo with Alabama Shakes, Serena Ryder and Steve Earle happening July 26-28; the Edmonton Blues Festival Aug. 16-18; and Symphony Under the Sky Aug. 30-Sept. 1. Venue managers are already fielding inquiries from event producers interested in filling the June 7-9 weekend dates.

For Richards’ part, he apologizes for the delay in making the announcement, and thanks the fans for “amazing support.” He says in the statement, “I promise you that I will continue to work towards growing the festival and enhancing the quality of music and entertainment it brings … Edmonton offers a variety of amazing music festivals, and I sincerely hope you will continue to support great, local music and events.”