Published Apr 06, 2020Due to ongoing social distancing efforts in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Calgary's Sled Island festival has been cancelled for 2020.
Festival organizers confirmed that it would not be possible to postpone the event. As such, those who bought tickets are able to either obtain a refund, hold onto them for next year's edition or consider their purchased ticket as a charitable donation to the festival.
"We also understand that this doesn't just affect our organization, but countless others in the city, and would like to extend our condolences to those organizations that are likewise struggling with today's news," the festival's organizers wrote. "Perhaps most devastating to us is knowing the impact that these cancellations will have on our beloved community: the venues, artists, crews and partners who have all already been hit so hard by this crisis. We are committed to working hard for this community's recovery, leveraging our energy, networks and resources to ensure that it returns stronger than ever."
Sudan Archives had been previously announced as the guest curator, and the first lineup announcement included the Black Angels, Pussy Riot, Sun Ra Arkestra, Nivhek, Om, Alex Cameron & Roy Malloy, Lydia Lunch Retrovirus, Liturgy, Diet Cig, Sacred Paws, Delly, Control Top, JOYFULTALK, Joe Pera and Jo Firestone.
Sled Island 2020 was set to run June 24 to 28 in over 30 venues across Calgary. More information on its cancellation is available here, and you can read the festival's full statement below.
It is with a heavy heart that we are announcing the cancellation of the 2020 Sled Island Music & Arts Festival, scheduled to take place June 24-28. This decision was based on a number of considerations. They include travel restrictions issued by several countries where some of our scheduled artists are from and travel restrictions announced by the Government of Canada as well as the announcement by City of Calgary on April 3rd, 2020 that "all festivals and events in Calgary with an audience of 50 people or more, must be canceled or postponed". This announcement came alongside the order from Alberta's Chief Medical Officer of Health prohibiting the gathering of persons in excess of 15 people in a group. As a result of these unfortunate developments, the scheduled events can no longer take place and our wonderful artists are unable to perform.
While this news obviously comes as a huge disappointment, we would like to acknowledge and applaud that the City is taking this necessary step to contain the spread of COVID-19 and alleviate the pressure on our health care system to best care for those affected by it.
We also understand that this doesn't just affect our organization, but countless others in the city, and would like to extend our condolences to those organizations that are likewise struggling with today's news. Perhaps most devastating to us is knowing the impact that these cancellations will have on our beloved community: the venues, artists, crews and partners who have all already been hit so hard by this crisis. We are committed to working hard for this community's recovery, leveraging our energy, networks and resources to ensure that it returns stronger than ever.
Unfortunately, the scope and nature of our festival make it impossible for us to simply postpone the event until later in the year (to learn more, please read our Frequently Asked Questions below). However, we have every intention of returning in June 2021 and are committed to supporting our community to the best of our abilities in the meantime.
We will be issuing refunds to all pass and ticket holders requesting them (minus service fees) and will be contacting everyone shortly with details on how to proceed.
Alternatively, to those whose personal situation allows, we humbly ask that you consider transferring your pass to the 2021 festival or donating the cost of your pass or individual ticket(s) to Sled Island in exchange for a charitable tax receipt. Keeping the festival alive is a precarious endeavor under the best of circumstances, and we expect the fallout of the pandemic to affect our revenue significantly in the year to come.
Stay safe, stay home, stay hopeful, friends.
The Sled Island Team