There will be no ROMP Festival this year. It was postponed indefinitely in April due to the coronavirus, but the event officially will not return until June 23-26, 2021.
The festival attracts more than 25,000 attendees annually and serves as the primary fundraiser for the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum. Executive Director Chris Joslin said it was a difficult decision to postpone because of how important ROMP is for the Hall of Fame.
“In addition to the fundraising aspects of ROMP, it has become a great way for attendees to engage with the broader work of the Hall of Fame, including educational programming that has a tangible impact on our community throughout the year,” he said. “This is very disappointing, but support for ROMP is strong and will ensure the long-term success of the festival.”
Those who purchased advance tickets to ROMP Festival 2020 can visit rompfest.com, where they can choose from the following options:
- Transfer tickets to ROMP Festival 2021.
- Donate all or a portion of the ticket purchase to the Hall of Fame (all donations are tax-deductible.)
- Receive a full refund.
Mark Calitri, CEO of Visit Owensboro, said postponing ROMP underscores the fact that mitigation due to COVID-19 has a ripple effect.
“ROMP is important to our community’s identity as Owensboro continues to carve out a reputation as the bluegrass music capital of the world,” he said. “Although the event is tremendously important, thank goodness the success of the Hall of Fame is not tied solely to ROMP.”
Joslin said while there will not be a live festival, the show will go on virtually. The Hall of Fame will feature video highlights from past ROMP performances on their social media platforms the week of June 22.
“Thanks to our partnership with WKU Public Broadcasting, the past three years of ROMP have been captured and distributed on public television providing us with the content to create a virtual ROMP experience this year on our social media platforms,” Joslin said.
In addition, WNIN public radio will also celebrate ROMP with a program highlighting performances and artist interviews from the 2019 festival. The two-hour show will run at 9 p.m. June 26 on 88.3 FM.