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Hamilton’s beloved Festival of Friends is cancelled

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Hamilton’s beloved Festival of Friends is cancelled

It was inevitable but it’s still hard to process: Hamilton’s Festival of Friends announced earlier this week that the always popular three-day music festival will be cancelled this year.

In an Instagram post shared June 30, organizers shared the news of their decision.

“While it’s hard to fathom a summer in Hamilton without the Festival of Friends,” the post reads, “our priority has to be the health and safety of our employees, volunteers, and attendees.”

The festival has been running annually since 1976 at Gage Park, aside from a six-year stint at Ancaster Fairgrounds.

The event has attracted some huge acts over the years, including legends like Bruce Cockburn, Tom Cochrane, Ronnie Hawkins, Gordon Lightfoot and the likes of The Trews, July Talk, Stars and Big Wreck.

View this post on Instagram

While it won't come as a surprise to anyone, we're sorry to announce that due to the events surrounding COVID-19, the 2020 Festival of Friends has been cancelled. While it’s hard to fathom a summer in Hamilton without the Festival of Friends, our priority has to be the health and safety of our employees, volunteers, and attendees. Our heart goes out to all the independent local vendors, artisans, and musicians that are facing a lost summer of revenue. If you are able, please search out these businesses and artists and support them whenever possible. They are truly hurting. In the meantime, stay safe, and to quote the legendary Bruce Cockburn, "We'll meet again, at the Festival of Friends."

A post shared by Festival Of Friends (@festoffriends) on

The festival was a high point of the summer for many local artisans, makers and food vendors, who rounded out the festival with delicious eats, handmade treasures and locally produced products.

“Our heart goes out to all the independent local vendors, artisans, and musicians that are facing a lost summer of revenue,” the Instagram post says.

“If you are able, please search out these businesses and artists and support them whenever possible. They are truly hurting.”

This year, the Festival of Friends would have taken place over the civic long weekend. Plans are in the works for the festival’s return in 2021.

The post signs off with a quote from Bruce Cockburn and provides a little hope for what awaits us in the summer of 2021:

“We’ll meet again, at the Festival of Friends.”

— Photo courtesy Festival of Friends’ Facebook page

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