When a Canadian music festival has been running for 19 consecutive years — in the middle of winter, no less — rest assured, they’ve seen it all. And this year, Toronto’s annual Winterfolk Blues and Roots Festival can add ‘pivoting to online due to a pandemic’ to that list.
Undeterred, Winterfolk XIX is set to stream online on Friday, Feb. 19 and Saturday, Feb. 20. Registration to watch is free, and optional donations will be collected in support of the Daily Bread Foodbank.
While the logistics are different for 2021, Winterfolk’s renowned lineup of the best and award-winning musicians across blues, rock, jazz, folk, roots, and more remains the same. On deck are Julian Taylor, Jack deKeyzer, Ken Whiteley, Laura Fernandez, Melanie Peterson, Mandy Goodhandy, Donné Roberts, Diana Braithwaite, Chris Whiteley, Ariana Gillis, Suzie Vinnick, Q&A and Sue and Dwight.
Winterfolk Blues and Roots Festival was founded by Festival Director Brian Gladstone, and is a division of The Association of Artists for a Better World, a registered non-profit organization.
“For the first time, Winterfolk will not be live in-person,” Gladstone confirms. “That said, the challenges the past year have presented all the more reason to celebrate the festival’s 19th birthday. This year’s virtual celebration is affirming what we in Toronto have long-recognized: this city has an unwavering commitment to musical excellence and, especially in times like these, an equally great commitment to our communities.”
Those planning to tune in will need to register online for free access via winterfolk.com. Registrants will also receive complimentary access to Scenes from Winterfolk XVIII.
WINTERFOLK XIX SCHEDULE:
Feb. 19: 7-10 p.m. EST
Q&A — Tony Quarrington & Zoey Adams
Feb. 20: 7-10 p.m. EST
Sue & Dwight
Jack de Keyzer
Diana Braithwaite & Chris Whiteley