Sundance Film Festival Goes Online as Omicron Surges
"We do not believe it is safe nor feasible to gather thousands of artists, audiences, employees, volunteers, and partners from around the world, for an eleven-day festival," organizers said
"While it is a deep loss to not have the in-person experience in Utah, we do not believe it is safe nor feasible to gather thousands of artists, audiences, employees, volunteers, and partners from around the world, for an 11-day festival while overwhelmed communities are already struggling to provide essential services," the festival said in a release.
It's a total turnaround from two weeks ago, when Sundance maintained that it would continue with physical festivities despite the case numbers, betting on boosters and increased safety measures making in-person events in Park City possible.
Park City's Summit County is currently Utah's COVID hotspot. The 2020 festival drew around 117,000 people, including 44,000 from out-of-state locations like New York City and Los Angeles.
See a tweet announcing the decision below.
📢 Despite ambitious protocols, the Omicron variant with its unexpectedly high transmissibility rates is pushing the limits of health safety, travel and other infrastructures. Thus, #Sundance 2022's in-person Utah elements will be moving online. More: https://t.co/orExAzKnEu pic.twitter.com/Q93P8p5J9Z— SundanceFilmFestival (@sundancefest) January 5, 2022