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After consulting with government and health officials and following their advice on how to respond to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the Sunfest Committee and the Home County Folk League have made the difficult but necessary decisions to postpone the next edition of TD Sunfest until July 8-11, 2021 and Home County Music & Art Festival until July 16-18 2021. We are extremely sad, but, at the same time, confident that these are the right and responsible decisions.
“In these extraordinary and worrying times, nothing matters more than our commitment to protect the health, safety and well-being of the SUNFEST family and the wider community in which we live,” said Alfredo Caxaj, Executive & Artistic Director of TD Sunfest.
“This was a very hard call to make, but it is clearly the wisest and most responsible choice,” said Paul Mills, Chair of the Home County Folk League. “The path that the COVID-19 pandemic will take over the next few months is uncertain, and rather than take any chances, the most prudent course of action was to make this difficult but necessary decision.”
We know the tremendous impact that a postponement will have on all our festival stakeholders, including artists, food & craft exhibitors, patrons, staff and volunteers. Each year, TD Sunfest and Home County are two of the main drivers of London’s tourism boom. As popular destination events, they normally attract tens of thousands of visitors from around the globe, contribute millions of dollars to the local and provincial economies, and represent the greatest expressions of the Forest City’s musical and socio-cultural diversity in a free and upbeat environment. But with many countries, including our own, still in lockdown and limiting international travel (and our guest artists unable to secure visas and make flight arrangements), this July is no time to stage major outdoor public gatherings.
Although the next few months are going be particularly challenging for Sunfest and Home County, both of which are grass-roots non-profit organizations that survive on sponsorships, grants and public donations, we are excited about returning stronger than ever in the summer of 2021. The arts have always been an extraordinarily powerful vehicle for bringing people together and Londoners’ appetite for celebrating this unique bond of creativity, fellowship and cultural diversity remains insatiable.
“The TD Sunfest and Home County festivals are special gathering places for friends, family and community. We know this announcement is difficult for many to hear as we crave familiar sights and sounds,” shared Andrea Hibbert, Executive Director of the London Arts Council. “We will continue to work with these arts organizations in order to navigate through these uncertain times. And when it is safe to gather again, we will meet you in the Park!”