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Virtual Sunfest planned for second straight summer

Organizers say TD Sunfest will be virtual for the second straight summer in 2021. 980 CFPL

The organizers of London’s largest summer festival are once again planning for a virtual event.

After consulting with government and health officials, the Sunfest Committee has decided the annual festival will be virtual for the second year in a row.

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Organizers say that although a virtual Sunfest is no substitute for the real thing, it is the only viable option at a time when national and provincial borders continue to be closed and many places around the world are in different stages of lockdown and recovery.

“The health, safety and wellbeing of the Sunfest family and the wider community in which we live are once again our major concerns,” said Alfredo Caxaj, Sunfest executive and co-artistic director.

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“Despite the effectiveness of vaccination, we don’t feel people are ready yet to gather in a packed Victoria Park this summer.”

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Yet if conditions improve, Caxaj says organizers are ready to pivot to a hybrid model for the summer festival that would include a few in-person events, albeit at a much smaller scale than usual.

“In these challenging times, the need for music that heals, celebrates and unites our culturally diverse community is greater than ever.”

Caxaj says last summer’s virtual edition Sunfest reached tens of thousands of people, some as far away as South America and Asia.

The hope is that in 2022, the festival can return to Victoria Park.

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In the meantime, the festival will be livestreamed on all four nights, starting July 8.

More information on Sunfest 2021, including the unveiling of the complete performer lineup, will be announced at a virtual media event in early June.

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