Manitoba Daily

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

The Winnipeg Folk Festival is scheduled to return after a two-year break

Key takeaways:

  • The renowned Manitoba summer festival will return to Birds Hill Provincial Park, but all attendees must be COVID-19-vaccinated.
  • Peterson, a music producer, has also played and volunteered at the folk festival and being a festival employee.

After a two-year hiatus, the Winnipeg Folk Festival brings the music — and the people — back.

In 2022, the legendary Manitoba summer festival will return to Birds Hill Provincial Park, but participants must be properly vaccinated against COVID-19.

Lynne Skromeda, the executive director, said Thursday, “It’s been a long time coming.”

“We are hopeful… given the number of activities and sporting events that are taking place, that we will be in good shape for next year.”

Skromeda can’t tell for sure if the folk festival experience will be the same as before the pandemic, but he is hopeful that next year’s event will be as normal as possible.

With that excitement comes the expectation that one of Canada’s largest events will positively influence the local economy.

“We’re assisting with getting food and craft vendors back to work, as well as suppliers and other industry professionals,” she said.

“It’s a wonderful thing to see that kind of thing come back and to see normal things happen again so that we can contribute to something positive for Manitoba.”

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Every July, hundreds of people flock to the park north of Winnipeg for the celebration. However, as the COVID-19 epidemic swept over the world in 2020, it was one of several cancelled events.

To restrict the spread of the coronavirus, Manitoba enacted public health orders that set stringent limits on gatherings.

This summer, the folk festival was cancelled despite organisers’ plans to host smaller, in-person concerts on the festival’s main stage in August. But, as the pandemic’s third wave swept over the province, that plan was shattered.

Skromeda stated that next year’s event is “extremely vital” to her group.

“Our financial situation has been quite terrible. We’ve barely made ends meet, but we’ve had a lot of luck with government subsidies, which have been quite beneficial to us, “she stated

“We thought a year was difficult. The next two years were even more difficult. As a result, we sincerely hope and expect it to happen this year.”

Winnipeg Folk Festival wont go ahead this summer due to COVID-19

Fans of the festival are excited to return.

The main stage was overseen by Lloyd Peterson the last time the yearly event, which began in 1974 at Birds Hill Park and ended in 2019, was held.

Peterson, a music producer, has also played and volunteered at the folk festival and being a festival employee. He’s been moving since he was a teenager, and he’s looking forward to sitting near the stage and listening to a full day of music, even if it’s raining.

“It’s fantastic news for the community, artists, and the entire folk festival crew. They put in so much effort to put it on, and then to have it become suddenly impossible to do been extremely difficult for everyone who appreciates the event, “According to Peterson.

According to him, the history of the event is what makes it unique.

“Every year on the second weekend of July, a lot of individuals know exactly what they’re going to do. It’s the type of incident that individuals react to in various ways. Several people are die-hard music fans, while others enjoy the social side and the camping.

“Anyone can use it in whatever way they wish.” However, it has a lot of moving components, and if you don’t feel weary afterwards, you’re doing something wrong.”

Terry Danyleyko has been attending the annual folk festival since he was 18 years old. Danyleyko, now 62, is looking forward to reconciling with pals he hasn’t seen in a few years, including those from Texas.

“I get to see a community of individuals there, and I haven’t been able to visit them in the last couple of years. I’m looking forward to going back there, “he stated

The folk festival weekend is about escapism for Danyleyko.

“It’s like returning home. It’s going to a place where you know everyone will be, and everyone will have a pleasant mood, and it’s time to put your phone aside.”

The list of on-stage artists will be announced in the spring, and tickets will go on sale on Dec. 6.

All stages, including the family section, will be operational. In addition, both campgrounds and other services, such as food vendors and the music store, will be operational.

The folk festival’s staff will “work very closely with public health to ensure all of the conditions are in place” for the festival’s safe return in 2022, according to Skromeda.

As a result, all in-person shows will require government-issued documentation of complete immunisation.

Source: CBC News

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