San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Brewing Company Cans Festival Imperial

The rollicking rock ’n’ roll extravaganza known as Festival Imperial will not take place next year as planned, the event’s organizers announced last week.

Speaking to radio host Amelia Rueda, a spokeswoman for the organizers – Imperial beer brewer Florida Bebidas – said the company cannot take the risk in view of an expected fresh outbreak of the H1N1 flu virus.

“We definitely won’t have Festival Imperial next year,” Gisella Sánchez said, according to Rueda’s Web site, “We’re expecting the second wave of the H1N1 flu, so it’s not a good idea to gather so many people … and we think (next) year probably isn’t the best to hold a festival.”

The news came after health officials announced in November that the Palmares Fiestas might not be permitted, as that traditional annual event could coincide with a second wave of H1N1 predicted for January or February. In August, The Health Ministry barred Costa Ricans from participating in the annual holy pilgrimage to the basilica in Cartago, east of San José, because of the flu outbreak.

The first Festival Imperial took place in 2006, featuring such big-name acts as Sting, Jamiroquai and The Rasmus. Then, in 2008, Duran Duran, Incubus, Seal and Smashing Pumpkins rocked the show.

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