PEI

P.E.I.'s Cavendish Beach Music Festival again cancelled over COVID-19 crisis

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to the cancellation of the 2021 edition of the Cavendish Beach Music Festival, which in recent years has attracted 25,000 country music fans to Prince Edward Island's North Shore.

Some kind of smaller event still possible later in the summer, organizers say

This drone shot from April 14 shows the grounds of the Cavendish Beach Music Festival, due to be held July 9-11 but now cancelled because of the continuing fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Shane Hennessey/CBC)

The continuing COVID-19 pandemic has led to the cancellation of P.E.I.'s Cavendish Beach Music Festival once again in 2021.

Whitecap Entertainment, the organizers of the country music festival, announced the cancellation of the July 9-11 event in a news release Tuesday morning. Whitecap president Jeff Squires told Mainstreet P.E.I. the outlook for the 2021 festival had been bleak for some time.

"I don't think it was unexpected," said Squires.

"With what's going on in the world and Atlantic Canada, I think it was just the time to let people officially know."

Over the course of 11 years, the Cavendish Beach Music Festival had become one of the biggest country music events in North America. (John Robertson/CBC)

Those still holding onto the 2020 tickets they had bought in the hopes there would be a 2021 festival will be eligible for an automatic refund as of June 1, organizers said. It could take up to two weeks from then for the money to appear on customers' statements.

The festival had been attracting about 25,000 people in recent years.

Since its first outing in 2009, Cavendish Beach Music Festival has become one of the leading country music events in North America, attracting artists such as Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Kenny Chesney, Blake Shelton, Keith Urban, and Taylor Swift.

Squires said the cancellation is not only disappointing for his group and fans, but also for Island businesses that enjoyed millions of dollars in economic spinoffs.

About 25,000 people attended the festival in Cavendish, P.E.I., in 2019. (Tracy Lightfoot/CBC)

While there will be no headline festival this year, Squires said some kind of event may be possible.

"Last year, we were able to do something, and we may be able to do something this year. We'll see what the situation is," he said.

Last year Whitecap hosted four drive-in concerts with local acts at the concert venue.

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