Travelers' Rest, the Decemberists' curated music festival held out at Big Sky Brewing Company, won't be back this summer.
Last week, a fan asked front man Colin Meloy on Twitter when or if the festival is going to happen again, and he replied, "Ah yes: we're giving it a skip this year. Maybe back next year? We'll keep everyone posted."
On the festival's website, travelersrestfest.com, a note said, "We want to thank everyone who made our second annual Travelers' Rest Festival such an unforgettable experience. We're taking a break in 2019, but look forward to seeing you in the future!"
The Portland, Oregon, folk band held the first festival in August 2017. Meloy, a Helena native and former Missoula resident, said he wanted to bring bands he liked to western Montana, because he remembered having to travel long distances when he was younger.
The group, working with promoter Knitting Factory Presents, invited two days' worth of groups, including many who haven't played in Missoula before. Some could be slotted in the same indie-rock genre as the Decemberists, like Belle & Sebastian, the Head and the Heart, and Real Estate, while others couldn't be more different, such as Saharan rock band Tinariwen or soul singer Mavis Staples. The Decemberists themselves closed out each night.
According to Knitting Factory, attendance at last year's festival was more than 8,000 total, or 4,000-plus per day. In 2017, the number of tickets sold was listed at 11,335 in data reported to PollStar, an industry magazine.
In previous years, the band was reluctant to say whether it would be an annual event.
So far, Knitting Factory has announced five summer concerts at Big Sky Brewing's amphitheater. Over in Bonner, Logjam Presents has announced 15 shows for the 4,000-capacity KettleHouse Amphitheater and one concert, Mumford & Sons, for Ogren Park at Allegiance Field.
Last summer, Knitting Factory held eight concerts at Big Sky, and KettleHouse hosted 20.
Emails sent on Monday to Knitting Factory Presents and the band's management were not answered.