Here's a list of Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent events postponed or cancelled due to COVID-19

Multiple events meant to take place in the next few months in Windsor-Essex are being postponed and cancelled due to COVID-19.

Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent have cancelled or postponed events meant for the spring and summer

Caesars Windsor has rescheduled some of its upcoming events. (CBC File Photo)

Multiple events previously scheduled to take place over the next few months in Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent are being postponed or cancelled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Pelee Island Unplugged cancelled

The Pelee Island Unplugged Music Festival was cancelled with the hope of it returning next year. The not-for-profit two-day music festival, run by volunteers, takes places on Pelee Island in the summer. This year would've marked the festival's seventh year. 

"Being on an island and planning a large event is a challenge, even in the best situation," said Cathy Miller, festival chairperson.

She said with everything going on right now, the team figured it was best to get ahead of the situation and cancel the event scheduled for Aug. 14 and Aug. 15. 

"Cancelling the event this year allowed us to be able to preserve some of our finances to maybe go ahead next year," Miller said. "It's a tough decision."

The Island Unplugged Music Festival is cancelled for 2020. (Facebook/TheIslandUnplugged)

She said organizers had already planned out the lineup and were about to book the production crew, but wanted to be responsible and give people notice of the cancellation. Right now, Miller said a lot of local sponsors are closed and a lot of volunteers and people who attend the festival aren't working.

"We can't really expect them to prioritize the festival in a time where they have to prioritize their own health, their own safety and their own financial situation," Miller said.

Full refunds have already been authorized, so anyone who bought tickets or campsites will see refunds in the next five to 10 business days.

"We ask that you continue to support the arts where you can and purchase our artists' music online if you're able to," Miller said. "And when this is all over, get out and support your local arts, support local festivals and hopefully we can all come together in a really great way when it's safe to do so."

Caesars Windsor reschedules events

Below is a list of events rescheduled by Caesars Windsor:

  • Pitbull — Thursday, June 25, 2020
  • Sebastian Maniscalco — July 8, 9, 10, 2020
  • REO Speedwagon — August 21, 2020
  • Tony Bennett — September 3, 2020
  • Styx — September 4, 2020
  • Jason Derulo — September 11, 2020
  • Ice Cube — October 15, 2020
  • Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons — May 7, 2021       

Bill Burr, Loverboy and George Thorogood concerts have yet to be rescheduled.

Caesars Windsor said tickets will be honoured for new show dates. Refunds for postponed shows will be available. All other shows at the casino will remain scheduled on their original date.

Festival of Nations

Chatham-Kent's Festival of Nations has also been cancelled over COVID-19 concerns.

Mayor Darrin Canniff said the festival was held last year after not having it for 20 years. He said there were well over 10,000 attendees who attended the free festival last year, adding that the municipality had great plans for 2020.

"Unfortunately given the situation we're in, we had to cancel this year," he said.

This year's festival was originally scheduled for July 3 to July 5.

"We're already laying out some ground work and planning for it and it's 15 months away," Canniff said. "So we really want to have an amazing event next year."

According to Bluesfest Windsor's Facebook page, the festival is still scheduled for July 10 to July 12 and July 17 to July 19. (Facebook/BluesfestWindsor)

In 2016, Chatham-Kent was the first federally recognized Welcoming Community. Canniff said it's important to celebrate diversity in the municipality, where over 60 languages are spoken.

"We will always celebrate it, it's just one of those events [where] we can celebrate the diversity and the culture and differences between each and everyone of us," he said.

Still scheduled events

The Kingsville Folk Music Festival is still scheduled for Aug. 7 to Aug. 9, but Michele Law, the festival's co-founder, said it's still wait and see.

If the government continues to ban gatherings of large groups, festival organizers will have no choice but to cancel.

Pelee Island's Stone & Sky Music & Art Series is still scheduled with events happening in June 13 through to August 23.

CBC News has reached out to Bluesfest, Carrousel of Nations and Hogs for Hospice for comment. According to each event's website, the festivities are still scheduled to move ahead as planned.

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