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Businesses disappointed, but understanding about SunFest cancelation

West Palm Beach music festival scheduled to resume in 2022
Elisabetta's Ristorante on Banyan and Flagler right behind where the main SunFest stage would be opened a few weeks ago.
Posted at 5:55 PM, Jan 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-27 17:55:25-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Each spring on the West Palm Beach waterfront, SunFest would host four days of nearly 50 bands on three stages but organizers say this year, that's not going to happen.

Paul Jamieson, executive director of SunFest said, "Everything about a music festival is not COVID friendly."

The festival canceled because "Every performer expressed concern about putting their fans in a music festival environment," said Jamieson.

SunFest says by this time each year they would have 90% of the acts booked and this year, "There is a lot of movement in the music festival industry away from spring," Jamieson said.

Businesses along Flagler are disappointed.

"We already missed one SunFest. We're missing a second one, I don't think anyone thought that was going to happen," said Todd Herbst, partner with Big Time Restaurant Group which owns several restaurants including Elisabetta's Ristorante on Banyan Blvd and Flagler Drive.

Most restaurants understanding about the news.

GALLERY: Photos of past SunFest fun

"Obviously it's one of the biggest weekends of the year so we are completely disappointed. However, we agree with the organizers that it's in the community's best interest to maybe hold off and hopefully come back bigger and better next year," said executive chef Adam Brown of Avocado Grill.

"Safety comes before making a buck," said Herbst.

Jamieson said, "We really wanted to do this to help."

Herbst said, "The amount of revenue SunFest generates for not just this restaurant but our other restaurants is enormous."

Discover the Palm Beaches says SunFest generates 18 million dollars in local spending, generates millions of dollars in media exposure that drawn in around 130,000 people to the area.

"I feel bad for those restaurants I really do," said Jamieson.

Elisabetta's Ristorante on Banyan and Flagler right behind where the main SunFest stage would be opened a few weeks ago.

"We're going to survive, we're going to thrive, this is a temporary situation," said Herbst.

SunFest says is ready to come back strong next year in April, "We've always saved for a rainy day," said Jamieson.