Sunfest Connected: popular London, Ont., festival to go virtual amid coronavirus

FILE. via TD Sunfest Canada/Facebook

While TD Sunfest 2020 won’t be going forward as usual in Victoria Park this year due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, a condensed version will be available worldwide as it goes virtual.

The “connected” version will be online Friday, July 10 and Saturday, July 11 from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. both days. Sunfest ’20 Connected will involve 15 international and national world music ensembles representing countries like Brazil, Colombia, South Korea, Sweden, Mozambique and Ukraine.

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Performances will stream live on Sunfest’s Facebook page and YouTube channel and additional social media accounts. A full list of who’s performing and where to watch can be found through the festival’s Twitter account.

In addition to offering up world music online, Sunfest has also recreated a digital marketplace for those who love to shop at the festival year after year. Londoners are also encouraged to grab takeout from the local restaurants that would have set up booths in the park had the festival proceeded as usual.

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“Of course, we wish we could have offered the full TD Sunfest experience in Victoria Park,” says the festival’s executive and artistic director Alfredo Caxaj.

“However, under very challenging circumstances, we are adapting to a new virtual format, which we hope will extend our global reach and complement our established outdoor event going forward.”

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Officials say several Canadian favourites — including Quebec’s Le Vent du Nord and British Columbia’s Five Alarm Funk — will take part in the virtual Sunfest, as well as “thrilling new discoveries from afar” like Lucibela from Cape Verde, Black String from South Korea and GranMah from Mozambique.

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