Burlington’s Sound of Music Festival has been canceled for 2020

One of the great small festivals anywhere in Canada is the annual Sound of Music Festival in Burlington, Ontario. I’ve attended many times and it’s always been a first-class operation.

However, COVID-19 being what it is, this year’s event has been canceled. From the press release:

“The Sound of Music Festival has been an institution in the City of Burlington since 1980. For more than 40 years, we have brought together a vibrant community to celebrate arts, culture, and live music. 

“As a result of the public health concerns regarding the COVID-19 Pandemic, in tandem with the announcement from The City of Burlington Leadership, and by strong recommendation of Canadian Health Officials, it is with great disappointment that we announce the cancellation of The Sound of Music Festival and Live on the Lake for 2020. It is important that we do our part to help contain the spread of COVID-19. The health and safety of our community, volunteers, artists and partners has been the driving force in this difficult decision. 

“From Mayor Marianne Meed Ward: “I know this was a tough decision, but I wholeheartedly support it and thank the Sound of Music for putting the health of everyone first, musicians, employees, volunteers, residents and visitors. We don’t know how long this crisis will last, but decisions need to be made now for activities months ahead. There will be more tough decisions to make in the days and weeks to come. We will get through this, and we will be stronger, and when the time comes, we will celebrate together!”

“Not being able to celebrate with our community is unfortunate and we know this will leave a hole in our great city this summer. At the same time, we intend to use these challenging times and unforeseen circumstances to work with the Musical Community and return in 2021.

“Our thoughts are with everyone facing adversity, hardship and doubt. This is a time to stand strong, help our neighbours, and protect the things that are so important to life.

“Please continue to keep an eye on our social media and website feeds as we’ll announce on Friday, April 3, 2020 information on ticket deferrals and refunds for Live on the Lake. Also, following that in days to come, other ways of supporting the festival and ensuring its vibrant future will also be announced.

“On behalf of Executive Director, Myles D. Rusak, President, Peter Van Dyk and the entire Board, Staff & Volunteer team, we applaud the City for taking a hard stance against the spread of COVID-19 and we sincerely thank everyone for their continued support during this difficult time.   Our rich history will carry us through these challenging times. We look forward to seeing everyone in Spencer Smith Park next year. “

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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