This year’s Calgary Folk Music Festival has been cancelled due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Late Thursday afternoon, festival organizers broke the news, following suite of the Canmore and Edmonton folk festivals the day before. The Calgary festival was set to take place from July 23 to 26 at Prince’s Island Park. While organizers were originally going to wait to make the call until early May after the City of Calgary issued a new directive regarding public gatherings, organizers decided to call-off the event now.
“It’s sad but there’s just no question that it’s the right thing to do,” executive director Sara Leishman said in a statement to The Chronicle Herald. “We’ve been in contact with the city this entire time, so they certainly knew our intention in terms of making this announcement. As I’m sure you can imagine, there are multiple conversations going on at all times and it’s just a lot of information to co-ordinate.”
Leishman went on to note that this was the right time to make the decision, and since they knew people were curious regarding the decision, “it just became clear, why drag it any further?”
This year’s four-day festival would have been celebrating its 41st anniversary with headlining performances from indie-rock’s The National, country star Orville Peck, and singer-songwriter Lucy Dacus. William Prince, Elisapie, Begonia, and Lakou Mizik were also set to perform.
The Calgary Folk Fest is the organization’s marquee event, and Leishman said that the organization is “still figuring out the full picture of the financial impact.
“We are certainly looking into potential relief grants and things like that,” Leishman said. “What we can say definitely is that the festival is our major revenue generator so this will have a major impact on the organization. In terms of our ability to survive this, it’s my personal belief that folk fest will come out on the other side of this and we’re looking forward to 2021.”
Ticketholders will receive a refund via point of purchase or have the option of donating the ticket and using it as a tax receipt. The fest is working on digital programming that will be available during the weekend of July 25-26.
The fest isn’t alone, thousands of festivals across the globe have been effected by the virus. See our full, updating list of festivals postponed or cancelled due to coronavirus here.