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Calgary Folk Music Festival goes virtual amid COVID-19 pandemic

Calgary Folk Music Festival returns for 42nd year
After cancelling the event in April amid COVID-19 concerns, organizers of the Calgary Folk Music Festival announced Thursday that the show will in fact go on this summer. Deb Matejicka reports.

The Calgary Folk Music Festival announced it’s going virtual this year amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

In April, the organization said it would be cancelling its staple event due to the virus, however, almost three months later, organizers said the festival would indeed return for the 41st year, in a new and innovative fashion.

“They’re going to be completely live concerts, but digital,” artistic director Kerry Clarke said in an interview with Global News Radio 770 CHQR Friday.

“We’re trying to bring the music to them, just in a digital way.”

Read more: Coronavirus: 2020 Calgary Folk Music Festival cancelled

On Thursday, the organization announced the return of the four-day festival, with a stacked lineup of local and worldly talent that will be streamed completely online.

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“They’re going to be performing live from their own locals, so from their living rooms and from their studios,” Clarke said. “It’s going to be really interesting to view them that way. People will get to see them in their own natural setting.

“We’re basically bringing their world to Calgary.”

This years lineup features performances from 18 different artists, including Angelique Francis, Copperhead, Mexican Institute of Sound and Amythyst Kiah.

Clarke said viewers can also enjoy additional perks, including streamed content from previous festivals and intimate watching parties.

“We’ve been hearing that a lot of people are planning to watch in their backyard, in living rooms and all kinds of other gatherings to celebrate the festival,” she said.

Read more: Coronavirus: Calgary Folk Fest brings music to Albertans, hosts virtual ‘happy hour’ performances

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Clarke said streaming the popular event online will also help bring music to a larger audience amid the pandemic.

“First and foremost we want to provide entertainment to Calgarians who love the folk fest,” she said. “But we also want to bring performances to the whole world as well.”

This year’s re-imagined festival is scheduled for July 23 – 26 and will feature daily two-hour concerts. Tickets are available on a pay-what-you-can basis.

More information on this year’s event is available on the festival’s website.