Organizers of the Big Barrel Music Festival have made the shocking announcement that they will not return for a second year.
The news comes as a surprise to many country fans who had already purchased tickets and camping passes for the event. Big Barrel was set to be held for a second year in the grounds of Dover International Speedway in Dover, Del. June 24-26.
On Jan. 28, the following message was posted to the festival’s website.
“We have made the difficult decision to cancel Big Barrel Country Music Festival, due to take place at The Woodlands in Dover, Delaware on June 24-26, 2016.
We sincerely apologize to all the people this decision affects: the fans, artists, industry partners, venue, City of Dover and State of Delaware; all of whom welcomed us with open arms for our inaugural festival in 2015.
Ticket purchasers will automatically receive full refunds including all service charges beginning this Monday, February 1st 2016. For more information on refunds please visit our ticketing page.”
In October, the festival announced an impressive lineup for their second year, which included headliners Brad Paisley, Eric Church and Sam Hunt along with Hank Williams Jr., Jason Isbell, Eli Young Band, The Band Perry, Lee Brice, Tyler Farr, Martina McBride, Nashville stars Clare Bowen and Charles Esten, Travis Tritt, Dwight Yoakam, Brothers Osbourne, Jerrod Niemann, Marty Stuart, Ashley Monroe, Neil McCoy, Clare Dunn, Mark Chesnutt, Parker Milsap, Robert Ellis, Pokey LaFarge and the Turnpike Troubadours.
It’s unclear why organizers chose to cancel the festival, which attracted 30,000 concertgoers during its inaugural year in 2015. The festival’s Twitter page has already been deleted, but their Facebook page is still active. As of Jan. 18, the fest was still advertising travel packages for the event, which seems to suggest that the decision to pull the plug was fairly recent.