2020 Lancaster Roots & Blues music festival has been canceled, organizer says

LANCASTER — The 2020 Lancaster Roots and Blues Festival has been canceled, event organizer Rich Ruoff said in a statement this week.

Ruoff said he needs to focus on caring for his wife, Claudia, who is suffering from brain cancer.

While the Roots and Blues official website had not been updated with the information as of Thursday morning, Ruoff’s statement was posted on the event’s ticket purchasing site.

“It is with my sincerest apologies that we have to cancel the 2020 festival,” Ruoff’s statement said. “My wonderful wife Claudia was diagnosed last November 2018 with glioblastoma, an awful form of brain cancer. We managed (barely) to put the 2019 festival on but as the disease has progressed it has become clear I won’t be able to be both a caregiver and give the next festival the attention it needs to be a great event.”

The statement said the festival will resume in 2021, and that he would contact anyone who had already purchased tickets for the 2020 event.

According to LancasterOnline, Ruoff had already planned to scale back the 2020 event, moving it from the Lancaster Convention Center to the Holiday Inn Lancaster on the 100 block of N. Queen St.

Ruoff has organized the annual music festival since 2014. In its six years, attendance has grown from an estimated 4,000 fans in 2014 to more than 10,000 last year, according to LancasterOnline.

LancasterOnline reported in 2018 that Ruoff and Discover Lancaster estimated the festival’s economic impact for the city at about $3 million.

LancasterOnline reported earlier this year that Ruoff owed an estimated $200,000 in payments related to the festival, but the website reported this week that Ruoff said most of his bills for the show were either being paid or already had been paid.

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