Lockn’ festival planning in-person October edition with COVID-19 testing, social distancing
Virginia jam festival Lockn' originally scheduled its 2020 edition for June, to celebrate Phil Lesh's 80th birthday. Of course, coronavirus kept that from happening, as it has cancelled or postponed most festivals scheduled for this year. Rather than giving up on 2020 entirely, though, Lockn' is still planning to hold an in-person festival in October. "As we develop our plans to produce LOCKN’," they write on their safety page, "the safety of our fans, staff, vendors, and artists remains our number one priority. Because the public health authorities are continuing to learn more about how the coronavirus spreads, the procedures for LOCKN’ must be flexible to ensure we are conforming to the latest guidance and recommendations. So with the understanding that things might change, here are some of the ways we are planning to make it possible to gather together and experience live music in a safe manner this October."
Among the safety measures they plan to put into place are requiring that all attendees and staff wear face masks ("Reasonable exceptions will be made for people eating or drinking while physically distanced from others"), physically distanced stage viewing ("Our Show Field will be divided into sections, each having a limited capacity that will be filled daily on a first-come, first-served basis. Within each section, designated walkways and marked standing areas will be used to enforce physical distancing between each grouping of fans."), extra camping space for car and tent camping, cashless transactions, and hand sanitizing stations. They're also only selling three-day passes, encouraging people to stay on site all weekend, and asking people who are sick, have pre-existing conditions, or came in contact with anyone who tested positive for COVID-19 within two weeks of the festival to stay home. "We are asking that patrons be responsible regarding their level of risk to themselves and others," they write.
They're also working on implementing on-site COVID-19 testing. "We are exploring ways to incorporate a mobile testing lab where people can take a test at the main entrance to the farm and get their result on-site quickly, prior to entering the campgrounds, as a way to minimize potential exposure," they write. "Additional health screenings will be administered each time you enter the Blue Ridge Bowl venue, and any individual presenting COVID-19 symptoms will not be permitted to enter. This will be the case for everyone entering the venue, including staff, vendors, artists, and attendees."
Lockn' is now scheduled for October 2-4, 2020; an updated lineup is still to be announced, however. "Should it turn out that we are unable to produce LOCKN’ 2020, we will make several options available to anyone who has purchased a ticket, including a full refund," their FAQ reads. "We will let you know by August 31st, at the latest. Until we are able to share our plan with more certainty, we are truly grateful for your patience." Stay tuned for more updates.