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Sundance Film Festival cancels in-person events

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Salt Lake City, Utah — All in-person events for this year’s festival will be moved online as Utah sees a surge in COVID-19 cases due to the omicron variant, The Sundance Film Festival announced.

On Wednesday, festival officials made the announcement as Utah saw a record 7,247 new COVID-19 cases and the Utah Department of Health reported 44 additional deaths.

“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,” festival officials said.

According to festival officials, their audience can still enjoy “bold new films and XR work, the discovery of new storytellers, direct encounters with artists, and an innovative globally accessible social platform and gallery space” this year via online events.

The festival will still begin on Jan. 20 and screening schedules will be adjusted to create the online-only lineup.

According to officials, they will be in contact with pass and package holders with an update on previously-purchased tickets.

Single tickets will now go on sale on Jan. 13 (Jan. 12 for the membership pre-sale) at 10 a.m. MT.

“This was a difficult decision to make,” officials said. “As a nonprofit, our Sundance spirit is in making something work against the odds. But with case numbers forecasted to peak in our host community the week of the festival, we cannot knowingly put our staff and community at risk. The undue stress to Summit County’s health services and our more than 1,500 staff and volunteers would be irresponsible in this climate. It has become increasingly clear over the last few days that this is the right decision to make for the care and well-being of all of our community.”

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