Refund FAQs


What advice did you receive that led to the decision to cancel?

We were in continuous consultation with meteorologists; fire management personnel; and Dr. Conway, director of Deschutes County Health Services, beginning several days before our final decision. These professionals provided insight into weather patterns, fire behavior, smoke predictions and the health implications for our artists, volunteers & attendees. Our contingency plans included using indoor spaces at all three Sisters schools, but they were all closed beginning on Wednesday prior to the Festival due to poor air quality inside the schools. We received a letter from Dr. Conway, Director of Deschutes County Health Services, advising us that if this were a publicly funded or government-organized event, he would recommend its cancellation based on then-current and projected hazardous air-quality conditions. Click here to read the full text of Dr. Conway’s letter.

Wednesday prior to the Festival was the last day we could make a decision to cancel the Festival and still be able to provide notice to patrons, artists and volunteers and minimize our losses due to cancellation. Volunteers would have had to be working on Wednesday and Thursday to get everything ready in time, and Wednesday and Thursday were some of the worst air-quality conditions we experienced.

How do I donate my passes to Sisters Folk Festival, Inc.?

Follow this link This will take you to a form to submit your choice to donate. To make it even easier for you, if we do not hear from you by October 15, we will automatically send you a donation acknowledgment letter for the full amount of your pass purchase.

How do I request a refund and when will I get my check?

Use the same link, to request the partial refund. You can expect to receive your refund check no later than November 15, 2017. Your check will be accompanied by a letter acknowledging the donation portion of your pass we could not refund.  In order to give us time to process refund checks, please submit your request by October 15. We cannot issue any refunds requested after that date.

Is my donation tax-deductible?

SFF is an Oregon non-profit, tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and contributions – including the value of your unused pass – are generally tax-deductible. Please consult with your tax advisor regarding the deductibility of your donation to SFF. We will send you a letter acknowledging your donation no later than 12/31/2017.

What does SFF do with the money it makes on the Festival?

Our mission is to enrich lives through innovative music and arts education programming and events, and the Sisters Folk Festival is just the most visible of our many programs. The Festival is our largest fundraiser, and we generally expect to make about $200,000 which we then invest in arts & music-based scholarships for under-served youth, salaries for arts instructors in the Sisters schools, underwriting a song academy for young people, classes in songwriting & performance, and materials and supplies for students building guitars, ukuleles, making jewelry, pottery and other artistic endeavors. And yes, some of the money goes to keep the lights on and our relatively small staff paid. We will be able to continue those programs, but we will be depleting our reserves to do that and offer a refund to pass-holders.

Why didn’t I get a 100% refund – what are you doing with the rest of my money?

We cancelled the Festival two days before it was scheduled to start, and the majority of our expenses were already incurred and paid-for by that time. There were some vendors we didn’t have to pay, and some who generously discounted their fees in support of our organization and our mission. We also wanted to ensure we can fulfill our commitment to school programming that has already begun. Between our expenses incurred and the refund we are offering, we will have fully expended the pass revenue – and then some.

Are the performers all getting paid the full amount?

We have different contracts with each of our performers, and we are working through them to negotiate a fair settlement based on the terms of each contract. They will all be paid something, because we believe in supporting the community of artists as much as we support our community of music-lovers.

Why doesn’t SFF have event insurance – and will Sisters Folk Festival survive this?

Absolutely, we will survive this, without a doubt. And the Festival will come back better and stronger than ever because we have so many wonderful, generous supporters. Event insurance is not only prohibitively expensive, but the circumstances under which an organization can claim coverage are limited.

Why can’t I have a full or partial credit for next year’s Festival instead of a refund?

We still have to pay full cost for next year’s event. If we discounted or rolled-over passes to next year, we wouldn’t be able to pay for the event and continue to support our music and arts education programs.

I didn’t know my passes were non-refundable. Where was that information?

It was a lesson for us to discover that many of our patrons weren’t aware of our no-refund policy. It’s been posted on our website and in several emails we’ve sent since mid-July. We will make every effort to make the policy more visible in the future. You can find the information on our website here:

What do I do if I sold my tickets to someone else?

Since we have no record of ticket transfers, it will be up to the seller to work out any financial arrangement with the individual(s) who purchased their tickets. Unfortunately, since the secondary buyer did not purchase the tickets from SFF, we cannot provide them with a donation receipt.

Who can I talk to about this?

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Ann Richardson, Managing Director at 541-549-4979, ext. 1 or via email at [email protected].