Supercrawl cancelled due to COVID-19, to be replaced by 'special events' in late fall

Organizers say the festival will take place in late fall and into 2021 instead of in September.

The September plans will be replaced by 'special events' though it's not clear what those are

Supercrawl organizers say that due to COVID-19, the festival will not take place in early September. Instead they plan to hold "special events" later in the year and into 2021. (Adam Carter/CBC)

Supercrawl, Hamilton's annual art and music festival, has been cancelled due to COVID-19.

Sonic Unyon, the event organizers, wrote in a release they were "crushed" the festival will not take place in early September and instead promise "special events" coming in the late fall.

Festival Director Tim Potocic told CBC News they will still try to offer as many of the features of the event as possible — but it could come as late as November.

"It's awful to be in the position we're in. Our hands are tied. There's nothing we can really do. We're trying to be as creative as possible without people gathering, but the reality is arts and culture is a social thing. Without people gathering in real life, nothing we can do captures that magic," he said.

"We were holding off as long as we could where we thought maybe we could move to October. It just doesn't seem viable ... but I think we put together a really good plan."

Live-streams may be part of festival's future

The special events will include free concerts, some of which may be live-streamed, in addition to fashion shows and drag shows. The concerts will feature many of the artists from previous years. The "ultimate goal" is to host physically-distanced events which would also include a vendor market. 

In the future, they may charge vastly reduced tickets for live-stream events, but will continue to focus on hosting live events with an in-person audience.

The concert series and shows will be announced in September.

The multi-arts street festival has run since 2009 and has drawn as many as 25,000 people.

Organizers posted a message on the Supercrawl website saying "The safety and wellbeing of audiences, artists, vendors, staff, volunteers, our neighbours and the wider community is of the utmost importance to us. We continue to keep our eyes on the horizon and look forward to gathering with you all again soon."     

It joins the long list of other cancelled festivals, marking a summer with no events and traditional attractions.

Other nixed events this year include the Ancaster Fair, the Peach Festival, the Dundas Cactus Festival and the Rockton Fair.


Bobby Hristova is a journalist with CBC Hamilton. He reports on all issues, but has a knack for stories that hold people accountable, stories that focus on social issues and investigative journalism. He previously worked for the National Post and CityNews in Toronto. You can contact him at bobby.hristova@cbc.ca.


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