It is scheduled to run from July 22 to July 25
The Edmonton Folk Music Festival has cancelled its summer event for the second year in a row, but officials in Calgary say there are still plans underway to bring live folk-fest music back to Prince’s Island Park in July “in a very modified way.”
On Monday, Edmonton’s festival producer, Terry Wickham, announced the cancellation of the popular August music festival in Gallagher Park. He cited the many variables at play, including the spread of COVID-19 variants, as the reason behind what he called “profoundly disappointing” news.
“The safety of our patrons, volunteers and artists was of paramount importance in coming to this conclusion,” he said.
The festival was scheduled for Aug. 5 to 8.
The Canmore Folk Music Festival, scheduled to run from July 31 to Aug. 2, has also been cancelled for the second year in a row.
On Monday, the Calgary Folk Music Festival released a statement, saying officials were “engaging in in-depth, ongoing conversations with the city and the province around the ever-changing COVID-19 situation. We remain cautiously optimistic and adaptable so are in the process of planning ways to safely bring live music back, in a very modified way, to Prince’s Island Park this summer.”
It is scheduled to run from July 22 to 25.
Last year, executive director Sara Leishman announced the cancellation of the 2020 event on April 23.
The festival did hold several online events throughout the year, including a virtual version of its February Block Heater concerts. In May, the festival announced a six-week series of online concerts that paired local, Canadian and international performers. The festival also ran a CFMF At Home festival from July 23 to 26 featuring 18 performers, including American indie star Lucy Dacus, Winnipeg singer-songwriter William Prince, blues performer Amythyst Kiah, gospel folk duo The Birds of Chicago and the Mexican Institute of Sound.
On Monday, Premier Jason Kenney updated Albertans on its accelerated vaccination program. While he did not mention the folk festival specifically, he did say that the Calgary Stampede, which is scheduled for July 9 to 18, will be possible if the vaccinations go as planned.
According to Alberta’s rollout of vaccinations, Kenney says he anticipates two-thirds of Albertans will be immune.
“Once two-thirds of us have immunity, we’ll start to feel back to normal,” he said. “There will be no formal restrictions. Stampede, sporting events, other festivals will be possible, especially if outdoors, likely with certain public health precautions.”
— With files from Postmedia Edmonton