Like many summer festivals across the country, the Stratford Summer Music has been in a holding pattern while government officials consider a safe time frame for the gradual lifting of physical distancing measures due to COVID-19.
Much like the travel industry, the events sector has seen their only business model all but disappear.
Meeting with the festival board, Artistic Director Mark Fewer and General Manager Judy Matheson have concluded that they will be postponing the late July launch date until August.
“It was going to be a brilliant season, and we were looking forward to filling your calendars with music this summer,” reads a statement.
Stratford Summer Music is working alongside other summer music festivals in Ontario to determine the best way forward for 2020, and depending on the province, organizers are hoping to offer some musical events in August.
The situation is that much more disappointing as the COVID-19 pandemic has made the prospect of the Stratford Summer Music’s 20th anniversary celebration precarious at best.
Stratford’s bigger theatre-centric brother, the Stratford Festival, was set to run April 11 to Nov. 1, but has put its 2020 season on hold until the foreseeable future. This month would have seen the inaugural events at the new $70-million Tom Patterson Theatre in Stratford, which sits empty.
The Stratford Festival has since launched Stratfest@Home, a selection of Shakespearean films accessible online.