It was with heavy hearts that Bradstock organizers said the beloved annual music event wouldn’t be taking place in 2021. In an Aug. 5 letter, Gail Saetta announced that the cancellation of what would have been the 27th Bradstock event was due to the Delta variant of COVID-19, and that plans for a 2022 Bradstock event are underway and are expected to be big.
Bradstock organizers, affectionately known as the “Circle of Chiefs,” were concerned that the Delta variant would peak on Labor Day weekend, according to the letter. Organizers didn’t want the event’s jovial atmosphere to become a hotbed for sickness, and they decided to pull the plug on the event, which would have been held at Camp Pa-Qua-Tuck on Labor Day weekend, Sept. 4 and 5.
“Bradstock is like having a family reunion. We’ve got people hugging and kissing and being really close to each other,” she said. “We don’t want anyone in our family getting sick.”
Family is how Saetta categorizes Bradstock fans—and it’s no wonder, because the event got its start in the backyard of Bayport resident Brad Ringhouse in 1994, and has grown exponentially each year since, tapping into the hearts (and ears) of generations of music and peace-loving Long Islanders as well as their family, friends and neighbors.
This was the second year in a row the Bradstock festival was interrupted or cancelled by the pandemic. The 2020 event was cancelled due to COVID-19, but some of the musicians got together and played music, which was broadcast online. Stony Brook University’s radio station also celebrated that Labor Day weekend by playing past Bradstock recordings. In the end, Bradstock was able to give Camp Pa-Qua-Tuck a donation; a big part of Bradstock is being able to give back to the community and provide donations with the money made from ticket sales, according to Saetta.
It doesn’t look like they’ll put on any substitute streaming events this year, like they did last year. As of now, Bradstock is cancelled and nothing further is known about whether a smaller performance, without concertgoers, will happen.
“I just don’t know if because of the last minute, we’ll do anything [this year],” said Saetta.
Organizers said the event will be really big next year, bringing out the normal Bradstock family, as well as newfound friends. Had this year’s event occurred, it would have brought out 55 musical acts, plus a poetry stage with a dozen poets.
“I think next year is going to be monstrous because people have so much pent-up desire,” she said.
In the Aug. 5 letter, Saetta referred to next year’s event, asking would-be concertgoers to mark their proverbial calendars.
“Thank you Bradstock family for your continued understanding, patience and support of the Circle of Chiefs and your love of Bradstock. Stay safe, love one another, and circle Sept. 3 and 4, 2022, on your calendar now. It will be big,” she wrote.
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