Rhythm & Roots organizers say they respect artists’ decisions, encourage vaccinations as 4th act cancels

Local Coronavirus Coverage

(Photo: WJHL)

BRISTOL, Tenn./Va. (WJHL) – Organizers of the 2021 Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion released a statement Friday after four acts have backed out of performing at the event.

The band Annabelle’s Curse announced Friday afternoon they would not be playing at the festival in 2021.

“We are not here to place blame or pass judgment but we cannot risk your lives or the lives of our families, which now includes three newborns who depend on us to keep them safe,” the band wrote in a Facebook post.

Annabelle’s Curse follows three other musical acts who have dropped out: Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, Yola and Morgan Wade.

Isbell was the first to announce his band would not be headlining the event after organizers of the Rhythm & Roots Reunion released their COVID-19 protocols. He had previously said they would not perform at any venue that did not require its patrons to prove they were either vaccinated or had tested negative for the virus.

Yola and Morgan Wade soon followed, citing safety concerns as their reason for no longer performing.

On Friday evening, event organizers released the following statement, saying they respect the decisions of the former slated musicians and encouraged patrons to get vaccinated:

We appreciate your patience as we are working behind the scenes to navigate lineup changes, and will communicate updates as they occur. As an organization, we respect our artists’ decisions to do what is in their best interests during these uncertain times, and will always consider them a part of the BCM family.

To our fans and ticket holders, we look forward to sharing more information with you soon. In the meantime, we urge you to do your part to keep each other safe. If you are planning to attend Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion, we strongly encourage getting vaccinated, masking up, and getting tested for COVID-19 within 72 hours of our event.

If you have purchased a ticket to the festival but have changed your mind about coming, you may request a refund through our website by Sunday, September 5 at midnight.

Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion

On Wednesday, organizers released a statement saying they could not impose a vaccine mandate due to Tennessee law and the event’s location in Tennesee and Virginia on State Street.

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