Festival of Friends music festival officially cancelled amid COVID-19
Annual music festival in Hamilton would have celebrated 45th season in 2020
The Festival of Friends, a long-running and free music festival in Hamilton, is officially cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The three-day festival in Gage Park was originally scheduled for the August long weekend. This would have been the festival's 45th year, after starting in 1976.
"While it's hard to fathom a summer in Hamilton without the Festival of Friends, our priority has to be the health and safety of our employees, volunteers, and attendees," said general manager Robert Rakoczy in a press release.
The Festival of Friends will continue after the COVID-19 pandemic, said Roman Novak, president of the board of directors.
While it won't come as a surprise to anyone, we're sorry to announce that due to the events surrounding COVID-19, the 2020 Festival of Friends has been cancelled.<br><br>Please visit <a href="https://t.co/ERTtOeHcDe">https://t.co/ERTtOeHcDe</a> for more info. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/HamOnt?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#HamOnt</a> <a href="https://t.co/ZHJYDa6UO8">pic.twitter.com/ZHJYDa6UO8</a>—@FestofFriends
The city and federal government have committed to keep funding the festival to cover operating costs, said the festival's statement.
Rakoczy urged people to support the "120 independent local vendors, artisans, and musicians that are facing a lost summer of revenue."
"They are truly hurting," he said.