All Ohio Balloon Fest rescheduled


Ticket refund process detailed; Mitchell Tenpenny already booked for 2021 event
After months of scrambling to make adjustments, organizers of the All Ohio Balloon Fest have rescheduled this year’s event to Aug. 12-14, 2021. Officials said they moved away from holding the event this year fearing the potential impact on the health of the community would outweigh its entertainment value.
Measures are now in place for patrons holding tickets to this year’s event to seek refunds or replacement tickets for next year.
“This event has been a calling card for the community since 1975 and we wanted to host it again for the local residents as well as the thousands of patrons that travel here to Marysville every year,” organizer Kevin Behrens said. “But the public comfort level around mass gatherings, especially after the Muirfied golf tournament, has continued to trend in the wrong direction so we could see that doing the right thing meant rescheduling for next year.”
Behrens said event organizers waited as long as possible to postpone the event, working with the Union County Health Department to adjust the festival to meet protocols, but in the end state mandates against mass gatherings were not lifted.
Other virus-related factors also hurt efforts to hold the event.
Attendees look forward to the Darth Vader and Yoda balloons each year, but those balloonists travel to Marysville from Belgium and are not even able to get into the country.
Behrens said volunteer issues also plagued the event this year. Tish Miller and Becky Bolt of The Hope Center help secure volunteers, in exchange for net proceeds from the event, and have been great to work with, according to Behrens. In the shadow of the virus however, many groups that traditionally offer to help, such area sports teams, were hesitant to sign up.
Organizers are especially disappointed to not be able to bring national musical acts to town, including the Beach Boys who generated a great deal of buzz since being announced as the Thursday night entertainment.
Behrens said that all those who have purchased advanced tickets for the 2020 event will be able to get a refund, though some protocols will need to be followed.
Because the Beach Boys generated a rush of walk-in ticket purchase at the Marysville Journal-Tribune office, officials fear that a similar rush for refunds would create social distancing problems at the newspaper office.
“In Lieu of Covid-19, it’s not within the guidelines to have hundreds of people in our office at once to get their refund,” Behrens said. “So we are going to send notice and/or call them according to the alphabet.”
He explained that those who purchased walk-in tickets with last names starting with the letters A-G will be allowed to come into the office from Aug. 31-Sept. 4. Last names beginning with letters H-O will be asked to come in Sept. 8-11 and letters P-Z can exchange tickets for next year or get their money back Sept. 14-18.
Office hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Anyone not able to come to the office during their scheduled time can call the Journal-Tribune office, (937) 644-9111, to arrange an appointment.
Behrens stressed that patrons will need to bring in their tickets or VIP/Preferred seating lanyards in order to exchange them or get their refund.
Anyone who purchased tickets online through Eventbrite will be able to get a refund through the site, but it will take 30 days to coordinate this process.
Organizers have already been working to schedule entertainment for 2021. Organizers worked doggedly to rebook the Beach Boys for next year, but agents for the group said they will not be available. Organizers continue to seek a replacement for the Thursday night entertainment next year.
Multi-platinum Nashville recording artist Mitchell Tenpenny is booked as the headliner for Friday, Aug. 13, 2021. An Academy of Country Music award nominee for best new male artist of 2019, Tenpenny has charted a rapid string of hits including “Alcohol You Later,” “Anything She Says,” “Can’t Go to Church” and the smash “Drunk Me.”
What this means for patrons who bought the discounted weekend passes for 2020 is that they will have the option to exchange their tickets for next year.
“Being this is the first time any of us have been through something like this, we appreciate the interest and patience fans of the Balloon Fest have shown. We ask all to stay tuned to the balloon festival Facebook page and for further announcements about next year,” Behrens said.

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