An Appalachian Summer Festival moves live events online for 36th annual season

Christina Beals, Reporter

The Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts announced Wednesday that live events for An Appalachian Summer Festival are being moved online in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

An Appalachian Summer Festival is an annual celebration of the performing and visual arts presented by App State’s Office of Arts & Cultural Programs. The festival is held every July in campus venues and features dance, theater, visual arts and film programming performances.  

Though the 36th annual festival was scheduled for June 28 to Aug. 1, festival organizers now plan to convert the live in-person events into online programming throughoutJuly.

According to the announcement, Denise Rigler, director of arts engagement and cultural resources at App State, said, “Although it would have been helpful to have the benefit of several more weeks to make a decision about the 2020 festival, we acted on the information available to us at the time, including a possible risk of resurgence — a risk we were not willing to take.”

Ringler added that presenting “innovative programming” is a challenge the festival staff is eager to undertake.

Artists booked to perform are invited to reschedule for the 2021 season and engage with festival audiences via pre-recorded and live-streamed performances, as well as online previews and virtual tours.

The 2020 season lineup was not yet announced because organizers were still assessing the ongoing pandemic. However, musicians Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit were scheduled to open the festival.

  Ticket donations and refund options are as follows:

  • Option 1: Convert your purchase to a donation. Donate your ticket back to the nonprofit An Appalachian Summer Festival to help defray the annual fixed costs associated with festival planning. 
  • Option 2: Refund: The Schaefer Center will refund everything except service charges, which are non-refundable. Refunds will be processed as soon as the box office is permitted to open per university guidance related to COVID-19 restrictions.  

For continued updates about alternative programming for the 2020 season of An Appalachian Summer Festival, visit