The Edmonton Folk Festival has been cancelled for a second consecutive year as a result of COVID-19.
Terry Wickham, the festival producer, discussed the cancellation of the hugely popular and densely packed August festival held annually at Gallagher Park.
“With so many variables at play, the complexity of planning and delivering a festival our size makes it impossible to move forward in our usual manner. Without full vaccination, we won’t be fully safe from the spread of the virus. With virus variants and vaccine rollouts still uncertain, the impossibility of social distancing at our event could lead to community spread," Wickham stated.
The festival, which was scheduled for Aug. 6 to 8, typically attracts close to 25,000 music fans. This is the first Edmonton summer festival that has cancelled for 2021, but signaled a return to 2022.
On Monday, Premier Jason Kenney stated major festivals could resume when the province reaches a 64-per-cent immunization rate for COVID-19. Projections suggest that number will be achieved in June.
Wickham noted that although an in-person gathering is impossible this summer, organizers hope to bring the festival to fans.
“We will build on our very successful online content, and if small gatherings are allowed, then we hope to add in some community engagement to the mix,” he said.
Updates will be posted online at edmontonfolkfest.org.