Winnipeg Folk Festival cancelled for 2021

A summertime tradition for many Manitobans won’t be returning to Birds Hill Provincial Park for the second consecutive July, but organizers of the Winnipeg Folk Festival are hoping a smaller three-day event will take place in August.

Organizers announced the festival, scheduled to take place from July 8 to 11, would not be going ahead. Organizers cancelled the festival last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“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,” a statement from the festival reads.

Organizers said they are currently planning a three-day event in August where a smaller number of music fans are able to gather outdoors and in-person. The event is currently scheduled for Aug. 13, 14 and 15 at the Folk Festival’s 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,” the organizers said, adding they’re also looking at streaming options for people who are not comfortable or are unable to attend an in-person gathering this summer.

The Folk Festival said there are still a number of factors out of their control for hosting the event in August, including public health recommendations and the vaccine rollout. They said they’d only move forward with the event in August if they are able to run it safely.

Plans are underway for a return in 2022, organizers said.