Hamilton

Festival of Friends music festival officially cancelled amid COVID-19

The Festival of Friends, a three-day summer music festival in Hamilton, Ont., is officially cancelled for 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Annual music festival in Hamilton would have celebrated 45th season in 2020

Organizers say the Festival of Friends, a long-running tradition in Hamilton, will continue after the COVID-19 pandemic. (Tourism Hamilton)

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.

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.

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