Folk Festival backflips on its plans to go ahead

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A typical crowd at the Folk Festival.

ALMOST a week after the National Folk Festival announced it would go ahead with the event at a time when other major events were being cancelled as a response to COVID-19, the festival has now said it has revisited its decision.

A spokesperson at the festival office told “CityNews” that “we’re all a bit in shock” and that the unprecedented decision had not been taken lightly.

The festival would have run at Exhibition Park over the Easter period from April 9-13 and crowds of up to 55,000 were expected to attend the huge event.

An official statement from the festival said: “Given the current public health direction regarding non-essential gatherings, it is impossible and inadvisable to proceed with the festival.”

Describing the concerns over the virus as “an unprecedented time” in the 54 year history of festival, the spokesperson thanked the staff and people from the folk community who made the festival “such a unique and beloved event”.

Those who already had tickets would soon be provided with direct information about how to refund or transfer tickets and performers, stallholders and volunteers would also be contacted directly.

The managing director, Helen Roben, was unavailable to comment because of meetings necessitated by the decision but would, “CityNews” told, she will share updates soon.

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Helen Musa
“CityNews” arts editor

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