Dawson City Music Festival in 2010. Andrea Vincent, executive director of the festival, announced via press release on April 16 that this summer’s festival will be cancelled for the first time in its 42-year history. (Justin Kennedy/Yukon News file)

Dawson City Music Festival cancelled

First time festival won’t happen

The Dawson City Music Festival has become the latest event to be cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The festival association announced April 16 the cancellation of the 2020 event, a first in the festival’s more than four-decade history.

“Our priority is the well-being of festival-goers, performers, volunteers, staff, and our community,” association executive director Andrea Vincent said in a statement. “Understandably, there is no clear timeline regarding the lift of public gathering restrictions, social distancing practices, and self-isolation measures and therefore we are not able to responsibly move ahead with the production of the festival. We are confident that we will successfully navigate these difficult times and look forward to hosting the festival when it is safe to do so.”

As it was explained on the DCMF website, there’s critical logistics that have to happen in the spring to organize the summer festival. With recommendations from the territory’s chief medical officer of health against non-essential travel to or from rural communities and no clear timelines on when restrictions will be lifted “at this time it is not possible to gather under the midnight sun as we have done for 41 years.”

Officials had already announced the first round of performers for the festival.

“2020 would have been a year to remember — Begonia, Cartel Madras, and Zaki Ibrahim are just a few of the artists who were looking forward to heading north,” it was noted.

Those who had already purchased tickets will be notified of their options by email. A full refund will be among those options, though organizers are encouraging those who can to consider donating the ticket as a contribution to the festival association.

“DCMF is a non-profit, charitable organization and encourages attendees who are able to consider donating their ticket as a tax-deductible contribution to the association during this challenging time,” organizers said.

Contact Stephanie Waddell at stephanie.waddell@yukon-news.com

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