Update on the 2021 Winnipeg Folk Festival

Dear Winnipeg Folk Festival Friends,

Today we’re announcing the cancellation of this year’s Festival. We’re heartbroken that we won’t be able to reunite with our beloved Folk Fest family from July 8-11 at Birds Hill Provincial Park as we’d hoped.

We’ve looked at every option possible, but with continued uncertainty about the pandemic restrictions that will be in place this summer, it’s simply impossible for us to safely hold an event of our size and stay true to our typical Folk Fest experience.

Thank you to the 4,500 of you who took the time to share your recommendations and feelings through our recent survey. In addition to showing your devotion to the festival we all love, the survey highlighted that our audience and volunteers want a return to the full Folk Fest experience and the incredible community created over the last 48 years – but only once it’s safe for everyone to do so.

We do have some good news to share: we are working towards creating a new musical event on a smaller scale for our community that will work within health restrictions. Our intention is to offer an opportunity to gather outdoors and in-person for three evenings of live music on August 13, 14 and 15, 2021 at our Main Stage in Birds Hill Provincial Park. While it may not be the same festival experience we’re used to, we want nothing more than to support artists and share live music with our community in the safest way we can at this time. We are also exploring streaming options for those who would like to participate and support the Folk Festival but may be unable or uncomfortable to attend an in-person gathering this summer.

There are still many factors beyond our control that may affect these plans: the evolution of the pandemic, public health recommendations, vaccine roll-out and community vaccine uptake. We will only move forward with this new event if conditions allow us to do so safely. We will share more information as we know more, but for now, consider this a “save the date”.

If you typically camp in the Birds Hill Provincial Park Campground during the Festival and are booking this year, please know that there will be no Folk Fest activities happening this July. You may however choose to make camping a part of your August experience by booking through the Birds Hill Provincial Park Campground this year – reservations open April 5 at 7:00 AM. Due to the ongoing uncertainty, we will not be able to operate the Quiet and Festival Campgrounds this year.

And finally, thank you ALL – our audience members, volunteers, donors and sponsors – for supporting us through this very difficult year. We are lucky to have each other – and music – to connect us, help us and heal us through challenging times. There is no Folk Fest without you! If you are able, we invite you to please make a donation to keep the Festival strong – financial support continues to be critical for all arts organizations and the Folk Festival is no exception.

We are already dreaming and planning for a safe, robust return in 2022 – our Folk Fest family reunion is going to be amazing.

Take care of yourselves and each other.

The Winnipeg Folk Festival Team

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