Sonoma International Film Festival, other events canceled over coronavirus concerns
With both local and state officials warning against large public gatherings in response to coronavirus concerns, Sonoma County’s two largest performance venues - Luther Burbank Center for the Arts and the Green Music Center - plan to shut down shows for the rest of the month. Both centers are reaching out to performers to reschedule dates.
“With the latest recommendations from Sonoma County officials and Gov. Newsom to cancel or postpone large-scale events, Luther Burbank Center will contact all of the artists and arts groups scheduled to perform in the 1,600-seat Ruth Finley Person Theater. We will be working diligently to reschedule performances,” a statement issued by Burbank Center said.
“That means our priority is to reschedule if we can. It’s up to the individual artists and their schedules. If the end, we cannot reschedule, those shows will be canceled,” said Rick Nowlin, president and CEO of Burbank Center.
The Green Music Center made a similar announcement: “In accordance with guidance from the California Department of Public Health, the Green Music Center is canceling all ticketed events through March and two events in April.
“Ticket holders will be contacted by the Box Office with specific details about each event.” Santa Rosa Symphony concerts are included in the cancellations.
Events affected at the Burbank Center include the March 25 appearance by actress Laura Dern as part of Women in Conversation, a series staged by The Press Democrat.
Burbank Center patrons can save their tickets in hopes of seeing a show when it’s rescheduled, get credit toward future shows, donate the ticket price to the center if they wish or get a refund, said Anita Wiglesworth, director of programming and patron services.
“We are getting a lot of phone calls, and we’re relaxing our ticket policies a bit,” she said. “We’re telling (people) to hold on to their tickets and make sure we have their current contact information.”
Luther Burbank Center will not be deserted for the month, Nowlin said.
“We are a community center as well as a performing arts center. We have smaller spaces we can use (inside the center). We’ll be a lot less busy, and it’ll be a challenge to see if we can recoup our lost revenue,” Nowlin said.
Both the Sonoma International Film Festival, set for March 25-29 in downtown Sonoma, and the Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival, scheduled for March 26-29, have been postponed.
The Mystic Theatre in Petaluma, the Occidental Center for the Arts and all Sonoma County Library branches also canceled events through March. The Phoenix Theater, Petaluma’s other large music venue, still had events scheduled as of Friday.
The Children’s Museum of Sonoma County will close for the month.
The Museum of Sonoma County in downtown Santa Rosa is staying open but will cancel its larger events.
The Sonoma Community Center will remain open for classes.
The Petaluma Downtown Association, which organizes the Butter & Egg Days parade and Antique Fair, is still planning for the event that typically draws 20,000 people to the city.
“At this point, we’re going ahead with it. We will evaluate the situation daily,” said Marie McCusker, executive director of the Downtown Association. “It would be a huge heartbreak to take away that weekend. We’re not going to take this lightly. The health and safety of the community is the first priority.”Cinnabar Theater in Petaluma was still going ahead with its scheduled performances, including sold out “Lord of the Flies” young rep show.The BottleRock music festival is still scheduled for late May in Napa, as previously announced, organizers said. The Coachella music festival in Indio has been postponed from April to October.
The Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco canceled events through March 20. Cal Performances at UC Berkeley has canceled shows through March 29. Marin Civic Center events are canceled through April 5.
Here is an updated list of canceled events:
Santa Rosa: The final performances of “The Cripple of Inishmann,” through Sunday at the Burbank Studio Theatre, Santa Rosa Junior College. Shows may be rescheduled.
Cloverdale: Sonoma Mendocino Economic Development District industry resiliency session, Citrus Fairgrounds.
Sonoma: Jay Alexander magic show, Sebastiani Theatre.
Sebastopol: Sonoma County Bluegrass & Folk Festival, Analy High School.
Sonoma: NASA Pro Racing, Sonoma Raceway
Santa Rosa: Everything Spring Cabaret, First Congregational United Church of Christ, Santa Rosa. New date to be announced.
Petaluma: Concert by Celtic harpist and storyteller Patrick Ball, Cinnabar Theater. The performer canceled the show after his tour events at other venues were canceled, leading to cancellation of the tour.