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Melodies will be scarce at the cultural district this summer after organizers cancel the annual concert series

NEWBERG GRAPHIC FILE PHOTO - Organizers announced recently that the annual Newberg concert series Tunes on Tuesday has been canceled.The rash of event cancellations across the state struck close to home in early May when it was announced that the annual Newberg concert series Tunes on Tuesday had also succumbed to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The tentative decision to cancel the event series was made on April 24 … due to budgetary constraints," explained James Wolfer, co-chairperson of the TOT committee with Loren Gaukroger. "The final decision was made on May 4 … after hearing that the governor's plan was to have all large gatherings banned through September."

The "budgetary constraints" Wolfer mentioned came about because the concert series' sponsors have been hard hit by the pandemic as well.

"We depend on support from our generous community sponsors to cover this event series," Wolfer said. "Due to the economic uncertainty that many of our local businesses are facing, many of our sponsors were unable to commit to this season, leading to a major budget shortfall.

"Additionally, with news that the governor's plan to reopen also banned large gatherings over 25 people through at least the end of September, we realized that having the concert series was simply unfeasible this year."

The concert series is operated by the Young Professionals of Yamhill County, who took over leadership of the annual event from the Chehalem Valley Chamber of Commerce several years ago. Wolfer and Gaukroger, with input from the rest of the TOT committee, recommended cancellation of the event to the board of Young Professionals. "The Young Pros board ultimately agreed with the recommendation," Wolfer said.

The group considered delaying or holding an abbreviated series in August, "but again, we ran into the same budgetary constraints as well as the governor's order," he said. "As for delaying the event, due to the weather of our beautiful state, summer is really the only feasible season to conduct an eight-week outdoor concert series."

He added that while the line-up of acts for the two-month event had been set and the bands tentatively booked, "no final contracts had been signed yet."

The financial impact of the cancellation will likely be minimal from what would have been the 15th season of the concert series.

"Any profit from Tunes on Tuesday goes to a scholarship, administered by the Young Professionals of Yamhill Valley, for a local high school student," he said. "This year, we do not yet know what impact that will have. "Additionally, I cannot speak to the financial impact on our vendors, as I do not have that information and do not want to speculate."

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