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Stoughton Opera House cancels Catfish River Music Fest for the 2nd time

Catfish River Music Fest
Catfish River Music Fest(Stoughton Opera House)
Updated: May. 13, 2021 at 3:44 PM CDT
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STOUGHTON, Wis. (WMTV) - Out of an abundance of caution during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Stoughton Opera House announced another cancellation Thursday of the Catfish River Music Fest.

This would have been the seventh year of the fest that normally takes place Independence Day weekend at the Rotary Park Gazebo, opera house staff announced. The 2020 event was also canceled.

Director Bill Brehm said they made the decision to protect attendees.

“The worst thing that could happen if we don’t have the festival is that we lose out on the money it brings in,” said Brehm. “The worst that could happen if we go ahead with Catfish is that people get sick and there’s an outbreak. We’re just not ready yet.”

The cancellation is a setback for what is usually a major fundraising effort for the Stoughton Opera House Friends Association. Brehm explained that the Opera House was supposed to take part in some “long awaited improvements.” The first floor of the Opera House has been under renovation since its doors closed to the public last year.

“For years the Opera House has wanted to provide amenities and preshow activities that people have been able to enjoy at other venues,” said Brehm. “With the closures due to the pandemic we’ve had the time to focus on creating the spaces that those opportunities could afford.”

House Manager Julie McDougall said she was hopeful that shows would be able to go on this fall.

The 2021-22 season is scheduled to be announced in mid-July.

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