Winnipeg Folk Fest finding virtual ways to entertain concertgoers despite cancelled festival

A stage at the Winnipeg Folk Festival in happier times. Marek Tkach / Global News

Thousands of Winnipeg Folk Festival devotees won’t be making the trip out to Birds Hill Park this summer, as the long-running event has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

But they might be able to get some of that folk fest energy from the comfort of their own homes.

Organizers of the long-running music festival announced Monday that they’ll be presenting “Winnipeg Folk Fest at Home” — a streaming event featuring performances from the event’s history as well as new live music by folk fest alumni.

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The “festival” takes place July 11 at 7 p.m. on Facebook and YouTube and features past mainstage performances by international artists like Arlo Guthrie, Sheryl Crow, Jason Isbell, and new music from the likes of Alan Doyle, Kurt Vile and the Sadies, Tash Sultana, and Juno-winning Winnipeg singer-songwriter William Prince.

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The folk fest pulled the plug on the 2020 event — slated for July — in mid-April, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year’s event, the 47th annual, had already been dealt a COVID-19-related blow earlier that month when one of its headliners, iconic U.S. singer-songwriter John Prine, died due to complications from the coronavirus.

Click to play video: 'With legal marijuana, Winnipeg’s Folk Fest sees ‘no enforcement issues at all’'
With legal marijuana, Winnipeg’s Folk Fest sees ‘no enforcement issues at all’

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