Doah 2020 announces cancellation of riverside summer music festival

Doah Fest

~ PVN staff report

Organizers of the annual music festival along the South Fork of the Shenandoah River known as Doah Fest have canceled the eighth installment of the event for summer 2020.

The announcement was made on the event’s Facebook page on April 21. Multiple efforts to reach organizers for comments have been unsuccessful.

“Doah Family, our nation and the world is suffering through an unprecedented crisis due to COVID-19. In the last few days, it has become clear that there is no scenario in which we can safely and successfully host the festival” the April 21 post states. “We have no choice but to cancel Doah Fest 2020. We will begin issuing refunds shortly.”

Doah Fest was launched in the summer of 2013 on the 300-acre Fodder House Farm on South Page Valley Road. The inaugural event drew about 250 festival goers camping along the Shenandoah River. The summer music festival now draws more than 1,000 attendees.

“Please know that the organizing team is devastated,” the Facebook post continues. “We’ve been working towards 2020 for more than a year and were very excited to see all of you again. But these are trying times, a cancelled festival is something we can all recover from.”

While organizer and founder Keith Sessler has stated in previous years that he wants to see the event he dubs “more than a music festival” continue to grow, he says he will cap the event at 2,000 tickets in order to maintain a more personal and intimate atmosphere.

The four-day festival is typically planned around a full moon and was scheduled for July 30 through Aug. 2. It included live music with multiple stages and river sets, a silent DJ set, sing-a-longs by the bonfire, morning yoga, art displays and vendors.

While the April 21 Facebook post does not directly state if the event will be rescheduled or simply cancelled until 2021, it does reassure the “Doah family” that: “We’ll be back at the farm sooner than you think.”

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