Last week, the Saskatchewan Jazz Festival announced it has opened its application process for artists hoping to perform on stage during the week-long music festival.
Organizers hope public health measures will give them options so people can attend concerts safely come July 9.
“I believe that there is going to be a live and a virtual component of the festival and we’re hoping to announce in the coming weeks what that model might look like,” artistic director Kevin Tobin told Global News.
But he admits it remains unknown how many people will be able to attend, when and if live shows return, with matters dependent on the province’s continuing fight against COVID-19.
However, Tobin added the festival has the ability to adjust to any new health measures that may come if they’re given ample time.
It has at least one performer excited for what the summer could bring.
Graham Dyck is a regular at the jazz festival and said he’s looking forward to performing again to a large crowd in Saskatoon.
Dyck, who is also a paramedic, said he understands how the idea of a festival could concern some people but noted as long as health protocols are followed he isn’t concerned.
Both festivals are put on by the SaskTel Centre and its executive director is hopeful larger events will be able to take place.
Scott Ford noted many things will hinge on public health measures, but with more people being vaccinated, he too is starting to reach out to vendors and performers.
As of 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 20, TicketMaster had listed dates for Rock the River.
Living Sky Café participated in its first Taste of Saskatchewan festival in 2019 and said it drove traffic to their restaurant over the following three months.
The owners said they would have a booth if an event was able to take place safely.
“It’s definitely going to have to change how the festival takes place, but I do think that there is a way to do it in a safe manner. Everyone has gotten very used to the takeout and take it home,” co-owner Jenna Dubé added.
Tourism Saskatoon projected Saskatchewan lost between $400-500 million from event cancellations in 2020.