Uptown Waterloo Jazz Festival cancelled for second year amid pandemic


The Sun Life Uptown Waterloo Jazz Festival has been cancelled for the second year in a row amid ongoing uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 restrictions this summer.

While organizers had already decided a typical in-person festival wouldn’t be held in 2021, officials said Monday a backup plan for a drive-in festival Bingemans is also being scrapped.

“We have reached the point where it is not possible to organize a high quality festival and current restrictions do not allow the drive-in alternative we were hoping to use,” Cheryl Ewing, the jazz festival’s general manager, said in a release.

The annual July event has been running since 1993 and typically draws about 20,000 people each year.

Last summer, the 27th edition of the Jazz Festival was cancelled as provincial COVID-19 restrictions barred large gatherings.

Festival organizers say they’re working to relaunch the event next year.

“There are no words to properly express our disappointment,” festival co-president Steve Joyce said in a release. “All we can say is our next festival will be a huge celebration of music and community, whenever that can be safely held.”