Winter Roots Covid Policy

The following is our Covid policy for the 2023 Winter Roots Festival. If you are considering attending, please click each item for additional related information. We understand that no single policy will meet everyone’s needs or preferences, so this year, while Covid still presents complications, we ask you to read our official policy thoroughly so you can make an informed decision about your choice to attend Winter Roots. And don’t forget, we’ll have another festival outdoors in June if you decide February is not for you!

Click on each policy point to expand a drop-down explanation with additional details.

Ticket Refund Policy

There will be no refunds for reasons which are not related to illness resembling, infection by, or recent close exposure to Covid-19. All refund requests will be processed within two weeks following the festival, and should be made in writing to We cannot guarantee that a refund can be issued immediately if you are denied entry due to a positive test or symptoms, but you will remain eligible.

A refund will be available, if accompanied by request made in writing and any appropriate documentation, if:

  • You test positive within 10 days of the start of the festival, or at the door
  • You recently had Covid, with symptoms beginning within the past 10 days
  • You do not attend because of Covid- or flu-like symptoms
  • You do not attend because of a known close exposure to a person with Covid

A refund will not be available if:

  • You leave the festival early due to a positive Covid test or symptoms
  • You choose not to attend due to Covid safety concerns
  • You choose not to attend because of additional restrictions we put in place
  • You are denied entry because you cannot document vaccination as required

Recommendations for Attendees:
  • If you have not obtained the new bivalent Covid shot, get one asap
  • If you are traveling a distance, test before leaving home, in addition to the required day-of-entry test
  • If you have recovered from Covid within a few weeks of the festival (but symptoms began more than 10 days ago), obtain a medical note of clearance from a medical professional to bring with you, in case you have a lingering positive result on your rapid test
  • If you believe you should be exempt from any aspect of this policy for a medical reason, please contact Requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis, and will require supporting documentation from an MD or DO who is licensed and board certified in ENT, internal, family, or pediatric medicine
  • Masks will be available for purchase for those who want them, but if you have a preferred type bring plenty along

Survey Results

In the interests of transparency, and to help you understand our decision-making process, we are providing the results from our survey, accompanied by some notes.

Interesting tidbits for the curious:

  • 2/3 of those considering attending Winter Roots would attend under the proposed Covid policy, although only 42% were fully satisfied with the policy as drafted.
  • Of people opposed to a vaccination requirement, about 3/4 were also opposed to testing prior to entry.
  • A desire for required masking far outstripped the desire for stricter testing or vaccination requirements.
  • Our early responses contained a larger percentage of those desiring mask requirements, while our later responses contained a larger percentage of those disliking Covid restrictions.
  • About 10% of the comments we received contained misinformation around Covid (as opposed to disagreement with our policy or reasoning). Many of these comments came in around the same time, beginning several days after the survey opened. 56% of the comments containing misinformation were submitted by people who had never attended a Flurry.
  • A number of survey respondents inquired about ventilation. The City Center has upgraded to MERV 13 filters in its HVAC system, while the Hilton was unable to do so. City Center spaces include  Room D, Meeting Room 1 & 2, and Rooms A/B/C.

On to the results…
Forms response chart. Question title: Which description best characterizes you?
. Number of responses: 563 responses.

Of those who had never attended a Flurry:

  • 49% would attend under the proposed policy
  • 9% wouldn’t have attended regardless of Covid
  • 11% wrote comments incorporating Covid misinformation

It looks like we have strong support for Spring Bloom!

Forms response chart. Question title: Would you be willing to attend Winter Roots given the above set of policies?
. Number of responses: 521 responses.

68% of all respondents are able and willing to come, even though some of them are not happy with all of our proposed choices.

Note: In the first few days, responses from those who felt masks should be required outnumbered those from people opposed to a vaccination requirement. In the last few days, several waves of responses in opposition to vaccination arrived in close proximity in time, with a few submissions appearing to be near duplicates. This leads us to suspect the data may be slightly distorted, with opposition to vaccination requirements being lightly over-represented.

Forms response chart. Question title: I would prefer:
. Number of responses: 314 responses.

About 16% of all potential attendees felt that required masking was either essential (wouldn’t attend without) or highly desirable (as indicated in comments).

While a larger number of people willing to attend under this proposed policy preferred masked sets to masked sessions, a larger proportion of those preferring masked sessions were uncomfortable with our proposed policy (presumably for being too lax), and many more of them commented in support of masking. That suggests to us that many of those who feel strongly about masking may be more comfortable with some mask-only sessions.

Observations from survey comments:

  • A number of those willing to come under this policy also indicated in comments that they would have preferred required masking.
  • Some of those willing to come under this policy also commented that they would have preferred testing to be required every day.
  • A few of those willing to come under this policy pointed out that not requiring the bivalent booster seemed at odds with our stated goal of having most people recently vaccinated, although most of those mentioning vaccination were satisfied with our proposed policy. 

An enormous thank you to everyone who responded to the survey and sent in comments, all of which were reviewed! We are especially appreciative of those who expressed their dissenting viewpoints in a polite and thoughtful manner, and encourage you to continue the dialogue with us as we go forward in events to come. Although there was clearly vast disagreement among participants, we believe these results support our decision to go forward with the policy as proposed, as a best-fit model which will of necessity be unacceptable to some.

Click here to return to the Winter Roots Covid Policy at the top of the page