Lakes Area Music Festival in Brainerd cancels season due to COVID

This article originally appeared on MPR’s

By Randy Salas

The Lakes Area Music Festival, which returned this summer in Brainerd, Minn., with live in-person performances, has canceled its season and all related activities after two artists tested positive for COVID-19. The concerts had been scheduled to run through Aug. 22.

“Last week, our season began with optimism and enthusiasm,” artistic director Scott Lykins said in an email sent late Friday night. “We were confident in our return to live performances with the knowledge that all of our artists are vaccinated and 98 percent of ticket holders reported vaccination. …

“Unfortunately, two of our artists have tested positive for COVID. Therefore, it is with deep regret and with the safety of our LAMF community in mind that we must cancel all remaining activities of our 2021 season.”

This season had marked the debut of a new concert venue, the Gichi-ziibi Center for the Arts in downtown Brainerd, and the festival’s first music director, German conductor Christian Reif. He had conducted the festival’s finale performances in 2016, 2017 and 2018 and was set this season to lead six orchestral programs and a production of Igor Stravinsky’s “The Rake’s Progress.”

Create a More Connected Minnesota

MPR News is your trusted resource for the news you need. With your support, MPR News brings accessible, courageous journalism and authentic conversation to everyone - free of paywalls and barriers. Your gift makes a difference.