Entertainment

Virgin music festivals cancelled in Canada

Virgin Mobile's summer music festivals across Canada have been cancelled because of economic conditions and difficulty getting headline bands, the company announced Thursday.

Virgin Mobile's summer music festivals across Canada have been cancelled because of economic conditions and difficulty getting headline bands, the company announced Thursday.

Last year, Virgin Festivals of one or two days were held in Calgary, Toronto, Halifax,  Montreal and Burnaby, B.C.

Virgin Mobile Canada chief marketing officer Nathan Rosenberg said the company is cancelling the concerts in Canada at least until 2011.

The festival is still happening in Britain, where it originated, Aug. 21-22.

Rosenberg cited difficultly securing headliners as one reason for the decision to cancel the concerts in Canada.

"If we can't produce a festival that provides a talent lineup that we think is appropriate, we won't go ahead with it," he said.

In the past few years, the concerts have drawn bands such as Nine Inch Nails, Pearl Jam, Billy Talent, Metric and New Kids on the Block.

But ever since the first Canadian version of the festival was held in 2006, the event has had a very fluid lineup, with frequent last-minute hitches and cancellations.

Toronto's first Virgin music festival was on Toronto Island. In 2009, it was announced that the concerts would move to a site near Orillia, Ont., only to have the festival return closer to downtown after ticket sales sank.

The 2008 Vancouver festival was cancelled for lack of headliners, and last year's Halifax festival lost its headliners, The Tragically Hip, at the last minute.

Richard Branson created the Virgin music festival in 1996 in Britain, where it is part of the annual summer concert schedule.

In lieu of the festival, Virgin is sponsoring a series of summer concerts in Toronto and Montreal.

During the Montreal Grand Prix in June, there will be free concerts featuring Karl Wolf, Bedouin Soundclash and Faber Drive.

Virgin Mobile has also promised performances by Iggy Pop and the Stooges. 

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