Bad news for attendees of Shambhala Music Festival—the event organizers have made the decision to cancel Sunday night’s performances due to a nearby wildfire. The decision was made as a voluntary precaution following advice from the region’s Emergency Management Office and other local agencies. The festival organizers had previously issued a warning to attendees urging them to be prepared for evacuation. The performances scheduled for Saturday night will still continue as planned.
According to the Surrey Now-Leader, Andrew Bellerby, the Regional Fire Chief and head of the region’s Emergency Management Office, spoke of his approval of the festival organizers’ decision to close early. “They have taken our advice, that there were risks that people could be injured or there could be fatalities,” he said. “So they have done the right thing in our opinion, and they are shutting the festival early to give more time for people to disperse.”
The McCormick Creek fire is currently burning at a size of over an estimated 864 acres and is roughly 5.5 miles away from the festival grounds at the Salmo River Ranch in British Columbia. Since Friday, over 17,000 people have attended the festival. The fire is still far enough away such that a formal evacuation order is not in place, and the decision to close the festival one day early simply means that Saturday night will be the final night of music.
2017 marks Shambhala Music Festival’s 20th year. The lineup included A-Trak, Illenium, Pendulum, NGHTMRE, and Crizzly, and some of the performers unfortunately affected by the early closure include Adventure Club, Slushii, and REZZ. You can view the full list of scheduled headliners here. We hope everyone has a safe time evacuating the festival and getting home. You can keep updated on emergency alerts for the area at the official page for the Regional District of Central Kootenay.