Keeping Spokatopia Outdoor Adventure Festival attendees, staff, and volunteers safe is extremely important to us. Thankfully Spokatopia is a one-day event held outdoors on over 1,000 acres of public and private land, trails, park facilities, and riverside beach and the risk of contracting COVID at Spokatopia is relatively low.
Because of the large venue and the fact that small activities and events tailored to specific small groups of attendees participating in niche activities that happen throughout the day in different parts of the park, social distancing is naturally built into the event.
Nevertheless, here are some of the COVID and other safety policies and planning we’ve developed to keep everyone who attends Spokatopia safe. Please be aware that as the COVID Delta variant situation evolves leading up to the event on Saturday, September 18, these policies may change and new requirements may be adopted.
- Vaccinations: We are not currently requiring attendees to show proof of vaccination; however, we strongly encourage everyone planning to attend to get vaccinated or tested for COVID before attending. If you have not received both COVID-19 vaccine doses or tested negative 48 hours before the event, we recommend that you wear a mask. The Delta variant is highly contagious, even among the fully vaccinated. If you are not feeling well leading up to the event, do the right thing and stay home.
- Masks: Please be aware that due to the recent mask mandate for large outdoor events in Washington that masks may be required this year in certain locations and for some activities. We are working to determine when and where masks will be required at Spokatopia this year. Stay tuned. With or without a mask requirement, we ask that all attendees regardless of their vaccination status show respect to others by wearing a mask when in close proximity to others and in locations with poor air circulation such as porta potties. Masks will be required for anyone riding in the Sekani MTB shuttle van (disposable masks will be provided). Masks will also be required for kids and adults participating in the four kids programs happening throughout the day in the Spokatopia “Campground” area. Comfortable cotton masks including Spokatopia branded masks will also be for sale at the event. If you have any symptoms leading up to the event, please do not attend.
- Social Distancing: As mentioned above, with Spokatopia being spread out over hundreds of acres of public parkland, trails, and waters and with many small group activities happening throughout the day vs large, group events, social distancing comes easy. To give space for further social distancing, we will limit and spread out our exhibitors; create more space for attendees gathering in groups in fenced off areas for activities like our adult beverage garden and MTB Jump Show; and give plenty of room for kids’ programs and activities and eating, drinking, and sitting areas.
- Hygiene & Sanitation: We will have additional hand washing stations and hand sanitizer dispensers at the event this year and will be sanitizing surfaces touched by the public and any shared demo gear throughout the event. We also recommend fist bumps over high fives and handshakes this year.
- Crowd Control & Limits on Attendance: We are currently selling Spokatopia tickets online and also plan to sell them at the event; however, we are limiting ticket sales and attendance this year to avoid crowds. Better to have a smaller, safer event than no Spokatopia at all. Purchase your tickets in advance to guarantee you’ll get in! To maintain control over how many people attend, there will be no free general admission this year, and you will need to have an event wristband to be on the festival grounds and to participate in any activities.
- Contact Tracing: We are collecting emails with all ticket purchases and again with the required liability waiver and may use those emails to reach out to attendees about any possible COVID outbreaks that might be traced back to our event.
- Air Quality: Since September can still be smoke season, we will also be closely watching the air quality on the day of Spokatopia. The Air Quality Index (AQI) is a 0-500 scale created by the EPA to measure a variety of pollutants in the air (AirNow.gov). An AQI in the 101-150 range is unhealthy for sensitive groups, while a range of 151-200 is considered unhealthy and can cause health issues for a wider range of people. If the AQI reaches 151+ on the day of Spokatopia (Sept. 18) and stays in that level without signs of improvement two hours into the event, we will temporarily shut down all activities until the AQI drops below 151 or cancel the event if conditions are obviously getting worse.
- Extreme Weather Event: If we are unfortunate enough to experience an extreme weather event, including high, dangerous winds; heavy rain; extreme heat; hypothermic conditions; hail; and/or lightning on the day of the event, we may delay or cancel some Spokatopia activities or the entire event.
- Cancelation/Refunds: If we end up having to cancel Spokatopia 2021 due to COVID by September 1, 2021, we will automatically refund all online ticket purchases. After September 1, if we are required to cancel the event due to COVID restrictions, air quality, extreme weather, or some other unforeseen disaster, we will credit your ticket purchase towards the 2022 event. Planning and putting on this event is a ton of work, and we appreciate your understanding and help to make future Spokatopias possible!