Zimfest 2022 OC Plans

Greetings Zimfest community,
Happy New year!

Zimfest 2022 is scheduled to take place June 24-26, 2022 at the Skagit County Fairgrounds (daytime events) and Lincoln Theatre (ticketed evening concerts) both in Mount Vernon, WA. We are painfully aware that the omicron variant of COVID-19 is raging and could threaten to derail our plans, but if we don’t prepare now for the in-person festival that so many people want, we may all be sorry. The Organizing Committee (OC) wants to let you know some of the details as they currently exist to help you make your plans.

  • Workshops, concerts and an expansive marketplace will take place Friday to Sunday June 24-26. We will need assistance setting up on Thursday afternoon June 23, and final clean-up on Monday June 27 – you can sign up as a volunteer for those tasks when registration opens.
  • ZF 2022 will be primarily a camping festival! The Fairgrounds has ample space for camping and up to 40 RVs; you will be able to register for spots with us any number of nights between June 23 and 26. For those not interested in roughing it, we hope to arrange for a limited number of dorm room-style accommodations within easy driving distance, and will be publishing the availability of nearby motel lodging on the website. A quick search of Air BnB and VRBO shows many possibilities to book for yourself in Skagit County, which is a wonderful vacation area.
  • Since Zimfest is not being hosted by a college this year, there will be no dining service and you will be on your own for meals. However, there are no rules against food sales onsite, so we look forward to lining up a number of food vendors. Downtown Mount Vernon with many restaurants to explore is also within walking distance.
  •  Due to the uncertainties of the COVID epidemic, travel restrictions, visa delays and the lack of an institutional sponsor, Zimfest regrettably will not be sponsoring guest visas this year. We would be happy to accept touring Zimbabweans on P or Q visas, but sponsors applying for those probably need to have their applications already in process at this date.
  • We are pleased to announce that the ticketed evening concerts at the Lincoln Theatre will feature both live bands and pre-recorded performances in streaming format. In this way we will be able to feature Zimbabweans who we are unable to bring here this year because of the pandemic.
  • As always, those wishing to help Zimfest 2022 happen by volunteering their time, please write to volunteers{at}zimfest{dot}org.
  • Look for applications to open very soon for: teachers and workshop proposals; live performances; and pre-recorded performances and presentations.

Stay safe and well!

Claire Jones and Zimfest 2022 OC

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16 Comments on “Zimfest 2022 OC Plans

  1. MyLinda King says:

    Will COVID vaccination be required? If so, how will you define fully vaccinated? My family and I will not be attending if there is a vaccine requirement.

    • Claire Jones says:

      As noted in the previous post by Alex (https://zimfest.org/blog/2021/zimfest-2022-announcement/), the ZA Board has created a Covid Safety committee to make recommendations for the festival in addition to whatever state and local guidelines are in force at the time of gathering. Proof of vaccination is likely to be required, as well as masking. The Lincoln Theatre also has its own guidelines which in December required proof of vaccination for entry.

  2. Randall Moore says:

    I will most likely attend when a COVID vacination requirement is in place. Thank you for taking this necessary precaution.

  3. Adrienne says:

    The only reason I’ll volunteer and attend is because the vaccination requirement is in place. Thank you for establishing this policy, and for choosing a venue that aligns with public safety.

  4. Hilary Vander Veer says:

    Thank you, committee members and other volunteers who have worked to put these plans in place for Zimfest 2022, especially under these very difficult and unprecedented circumstances. I am glad you are finding ways to include Zimbabweans who cannot be there in person. I commend you for taking necessary and recommended steps that promote the safety of all attendees and help reduce the risk of spreading COVID.

  5. Hollie says:

    So happy to hear you’re requiring proof of vaccination! As someone with a chronic illness, thank you for supporting the health of everyone and stopping the spread of Covid. You’re saving lives!

  6. Jaime says:

    Thank you so much for making the difficult decision to require vaccinations! That is the only way I would consider attending an event like this. Thank you for keeping us all safe!

  7. Claire Jones says:

    Dear Zimfest Community,
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the upcoming 2022 festival, including the vaccination requirement. The Zimfest Association Board has now instituted a policy that comments submitted to the Zimfest website that include misinformation about Covid or vaccinations will be rejected by the site moderators. The ZA Board would like to point out that our blog is not the appropriate venue to debate this topic.
    ZA Board and Covid Safety Committee

  8. Peggy Carlson says:

    I too would like to let you know that I appreciate required vaccinations. This is a given for me to attend…and I’m so looking forward to it!

  9. John Hatten says:

    I am feeling considerable gratitude for the Zimfest Board and the 2022 organizing committee. These are difficult times and I appreciate the care that you are taking while preparing for this year’s Zimfest at the Skagit Fairgrounds. I’m excited to be there!

  10. Paul Novitski says:

    Friends, no one is requiring anyone to vaccinate against COVID – only that vaccination be a requirement for admission to the festival. Those of us privileged to live in sufficiently wealthy countries where vaccines are available are free to vaccinate or not according to our beliefs and medical status. But our personal beliefs are not grounds for other people to compromise their health standards.

    As organizers of a live mass event, Zimfest bears responsibility to create a safe space for attendees and to avoid producing a superspreading event that could harm others.

    One obvious way to serve as many people as possible is to broadcast the live event for those who cannot or will not attend in person. As an elder with an asthmatic child at home, I might choose not to risk travelling through the US to a large gathering in the time of pandemic. If so I’ll be grateful for every bit of sound and image I can lay my ears and eyes on. Watching Zimfest on screen ain’t the same as being there but it sure beats nothing.

    My deep thanks to the Organizing Committee for continuing to steer Zimfest through this difficult period. May we soon get past this and back to more normal times!

    Be safe, be responsible, be kind.

    • Janis Weeks says:

      Paul, thanks for your comment; proof of up-to-date vaccination will be required. See details here: https://zimfest.org/festival/overview/

      • Paul Novitski says:

        Thanks, Janis. Someone here had decried the requirement that people get vaccinated, and I was hoping to make the distinction that no one is actually required to be vaccinated against COVID, although unfortunately that means their not being able to attend Zimfest in person.

    • Claire Jones says:

      Paul, to address the second part of your comment: I do hear your suggestion that broadcasting the live event would help to reach those who do not attend Zimfest for whatever reasons. Following the desires of many (expressed at last year’s Village meeting and elsewhere), we are choosing to try to stage a live in-person festival after two years of online activities. We simply do not have the resources to meet everyone’s desires every year. I hope you have read that we do plan to present some pre-recorded performances and presentations at the ticketed evening concerts, mainly to involve Zimbabweans who we are unable to bring this year. You may not have read that we may host some of the videos we receive on YouTube and/or Facebook in the future (see Pre-recorded Session info and scroll down to “Types of Pre-recorded Performances and Presentations”). I could also imagine the possibility, if we were tragically forced to cancel the in-person activities, that we might pivot back to all-online activities – and we would happily have the use of the pre-recorded videos in order to do so. Neither of these eventualities is likely to happen without additional volunteer help for the organizers, however (see my latest blog post).
      Thanks for your input,

  11. Carol says:

    My family and I will not be attending Zimfest if the vaccine mandate is in place.

  12. Fred King says:

    I attended the first Zimfest in 1991 in Seattle. I attended a drumming workshop with Sheree Seretsee and a session on marimba building with Brett Stewart. Our band Boka Marimba played in the gym at the end of festival concert.

    I continued to build and play marimbas for the next 27 years. Using the information I got from the marimba building session, I started building marimbas and so far I have built 112 of them. I attended Zimfest several times since then as a performer and as a vendor. As an African American, I have appreciated how involvement in this music had connected me to my heritage. I am married to a gifted marimba teacher/performer and my children also enjoy Zimbabwean music.

    Unfortunately, I will not be able to attend the festival if vaccination is required. My son suffered a reaction to his childhood vaccines (document by his doctor) and is now permanently disabled. Since that happened, I have been careful about vaccines, which can have adverse reactions. Like many people, I have decided that for me, the risk-benefit calculation favors caution in this case.

    I feel that it would be a shame if I could not attend Zimfest this year. But I hope you have a good festival all the same.