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Organizers of this weekend's Get Off the Grid Fest at Camp Jordan in East Ridge have suspended online ticket sales and will not allow walk-up sales because of the rise in COVID-19 cases, according to a news release. The festival had hoped to draw more than 4,000 people but will now be limited to about 500, organizers said.

The solar-powered festival is billed as "three days of music, learning and fun powered by the sun." It is set to start at 5 p.m. Friday and conclude around 8 p.m. Sunday. It will feature about 70 vendors, presentations and talks on environmentally sustainable living, as well as live music by 40 local and national acts.

"Over the past 24 hours, the Get Off the Grid Fest team has put a lot of careful consideration into how we can safely conduct the festival in response to the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the Chattanooga area," organizers said in a news release. "Out of concern for everyone involved, we're moving forward with the festival, but it will primarily be a non-public event. We'll honor current ticket purchases for all those who choose to attend, but ticket sales will be cut off."

The electric vehicle exposition has been postponed to a later date.

"We have an important message to share, and our planet needs alternative voices to rise up more than ever right now," the release goes on to say. "Your support has been critical in helping us create the transformative event we plan to share. It is our heartfelt intention to produce an impactful (yet more intimate) experience with the people called to be there. We're making additional efforts to document the event and highlight your sponsorship involvement as much as possible to extend the reach of our message beyond those attending in person. Unfortunately, due to Wi-Fi limitations, streaming live isn't an option."

The release also states that no mask mandate has been put into place and that "everyone attending the festival assumes the liability of contracting COVID-19 since any interaction with the general public poses an elevated risk of exposure. We cannot guarantee that you won't be exposed while participating. Each of you is encouraged to take the necessary precautions. There will be hand sanitizer and face masks available with social distancing in place, with temperature checks being conducted daily at all gates. Activities were intentionally spread out over the 4 acres of the festival grounds and [the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] continues to maintain that you're less likely to be exposed to COVID-19 during outdoor activities, even without the use of masks. If we are all mindful and aware, we're confident that the event can still happen safely with the reduced numbers."

It is signed by organizers Bill Fleming, Laurel Askue and Harmony Brooke.

— Compiled by Barry Courter

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