Strawberry Music Festival halted by blaze

August 22, 2013 

— It looks like the Strawberry Music Festival, a tradition since 1982, will not take place Labor Day weekend at Camp Mather near Yosemite National Park.

The roots music festival posted on its Facebook page Thursday afternoon the following announcement from the Tuolumne County Community Resources Agency and the Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors:

"Due to the ongoing State of Emergency and the potential adverse effects of the wildfire on public health, safety and welfare, the County of Tuolumne cannot allow the Strawberry Music Festival to occur at the site as originally permitted on the dates of August 29 through September 2, 2013."

Cecily Johnson-Underwood, a spokeswoman for the festival, said she could not comment further on whether the festival would be postponed or moved. "We've had zero time to make any calls," she said.

The Rim fire, which broke out in a remote area near Groveland on Saturday, has consumed 63,000 acres in Tuolumne and Mariposa counties and is expected to spread.

The Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors held an emergency meeting Wednesday afternoon saying in a resolution that the fire is "now directly threatening various communities and businesses within the County and is beyond our capabilities." Gov. Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency.

The Strawberry Music Festival was predicted to attract more than 4,000 tickets. Headliners this year included the Mavericks, Patty Griffin and Oakdale's Good Luck Thrift Store Outfit. Many audience members camp and participate in jam sessions throughout the weekend. According to a timeline posted on , fire has postponed the festival at least twice in its three-decade history, in 1987 and 1996.

The festival is the cover story of today's Scene entertainment section, which went to press before the news of the festival's postponement.

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