The Toronto International BuskerFest 2020 has officially been cancelled.
This will be the first time that the festival has been called off since the first Toronto BuskerFest 21 years ago, according to Epilepsy Toronto, the organizers of the festival.
The festival was scheduled to take place in Woodbine Park, located in Toronto’s beach neighbourhood from September 4 to 7.
“I want to share my support to all the organizers and performers involved with BuskerFest. Cancelling the event is a really difficult decision – but the right one. We’ve all been asked to make sacrifices to support our own well-being, and those around us. Cancelling community events like BuskerFest are some of the toughest, and closely-felt changes throughout this pandemic,” said Councillor Brad Bradford, Ward 19 – Beaches-East York.
“We’re all missing seeing each other and events like this in the community. These events are also crucial to the vibrant arts community and incredible spirit of giving we have in this City. I can’t wait to welcome the event back to the East End when it’s safe for us all to celebrate together. In the meantime, I hope we’ll all find ways to support our buskers and our many good causes in the East End in new and creative ways,” he added.
BuskerFest has said that the event takes months of planning but that it is currently “unrealistic” to move forward with preparations due to the “current climate of uncertainty.”
We are making it official…BuskerFest 2020 is cancelled. 💔 We hope to see you all in 2021!
Be safe Toronto and take care of yourselves and each other! pic.twitter.com/kePtXHRwnF
— BuskerFestTO (@BuskerFestTO) June 22, 2020
The festival is one of the largest of its kind in North America and raises money for Epilepsy Toronto.
“They have been serving Torontonians for over 60 years, providing free programming, counselling, support and advocacy services to assist people living with epilepsy, and their families,” Bradford said.
Epilepsy Toronto will now be concentrating on the Annual Purple Walk which will transition into a virtual event taking place on July 11.
“BuskerFest typically brings hundreds of thousands of people together, and right now, we must all do our part to help keep each other safe and support our front line workers. It is with great sadness that this decision has been made, however, based on the recommendations from Public Health authorities, and to protect the safety of our audiences, artists, staff and volunteers, it feels like the best choice” says Epilepsy Toronto Executive Director Geoff Bobb.
“But we sincerely hope to be able to present Torontonians with another exciting year of BuskerFest in 2021.”