Citing coronavirus concerns, the music festival hosted by Buses by the Beach along Lake Michigan announced it would take the year off. It joins Charlotte Bluegrass Festival and others in canceling 2020 events.
Bus Benefit presented by Buses by the Beach on Memorial Day weekend – annually, one of West Michigan’s earliest music festivals – won’t take place this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic that’s swept the state and the country.
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Following on the heels of several other late spring and early summer Michigan festivals that have canceled or postponed 2020 events, the Buses by the Beach board on Sunday voted to cancel the festival and made the decision public today.
The camping festival which boasts three days of performances by regional artists had been slated to take place May 22-25 at Camp Blodgett along Lake Michigan in West Olive between Grand Haven and Holland.
“It is with a heavy heart that we, as a board, have made the difficult decision to cancel this year’s Bus Benefit presented by Buses by the Beach,” the board said in a message to members.
“After many discussions with Camp Blodgett, local township officials and other Michigan festival organizers we feel that this is the best thing for our tribe, our health and our community. Our goal is to bring back as many artists from this year’s lineup as possible when we gather next year.”
It would have been the 19th year for the celebration hosted by the Buses by the Beach organization, which caters to Volkswagen bus owners and raises funds for the Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors.
MORE FESTIVAL CANCELLATIONS ALSO ANNOUNCED
Other Michigan festivals over the past several days also have pulled the plug for 2020:
• The 48th annual Charlotte Bluegrass Festival held at the Eaton County Fairgrounds canceled its June 25-27 event, saying it would be “unrealistic and unfair” to move forward.
• East Lansing’s Summer Solstice Jazz Festival has scrapped its June 19-20 celebration in downtown East Lansing with “great sadness.”
• The Dam Jam slated for June 26-27 at Lions Park in Calumet also pulled the plug, with organizers saying they’d “rather be safe than sorry.”
They join a long list of Michigan festivals that also have 2020 events, including Blissfest, Electric Forest, Camp Greensky, Nor-East’r Music & Art Festival and Hiawatha Traditional Music Festival.
The 2019 Bus Benefit – which drew several hundred people – featured sets by Michigan bands Political Lizard, Nicholas James & The Bandwagon, B-Side Growlers, Fauxgrass, Full Cord, The Go Rounds, Deerfield Run, The Gasoline Gypsies, The Legal Immigrants and Roosevelt Diggs.
The yearly event also features jam sessions, children’s games, a high rope course, rock wall, yoga, a silent auction and more.
For those who purchased tickets to this year’s Bus Benefit, refunds are available by May 6 via email through email@example.com by providing the confirmation number for the tickets.
However, Buses by the Beach is encouraging those who bought tickets to make their purchase a donation to the Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors.
“We hope to see you all when we gather at Bus Boo (another event) the first weekend in October,” the statement concluded. “Please take time to spread some love and send out positive energy to the universe.”
Check out Local Spins’ coverage and photos of the 2019 Buses by the Beach event:
Get more updates about the status of Michigan festivals in Local Spins’ Michigan Music Festivals 2020 guide.
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