The annual Burlington Sound of Music (SOM) Festival is going to look a little different this year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Instead of the usual 10 days of celebration in Spencer Smith Park in June, SOM will be bringing the Festival experience to the masses in smaller steps from March through August in what’s being called the “Return to Live Series.”
“Regrettably, the world simply isn’t in a place where we can safely have two hundred and fifty thousand people in a park,” says SOM executive director Myles D. Rusak. “We’re choosing to focus on what we know we can deliver instead of dwelling on what we cannot. To that end, we are excited to announce that with the support of The City of Burlington, the Festival will continue albeit in a different format for 2021.”
Each event in the series will focus on one aspect of the Festival experience; whether Club Series, Streetfest, Family Zone, Mainstage artists – and even a taste of Live on the Lake. The Return to Live Series will take place in various venues across the city and will reflect the Festival’s core values of delivering free and accessible music to the community. Alongside these free offerings, a series of paid performances will also be staged.
Ticketed Performances added
“The reality is that our lost revenue from 2020 is well over one million dollars,” continues Rusak. “While we want to stay true to our roots of offering high quality free programming to concert goers, we also need to include ticketed shows to remain sustainable and plan for growth in 2022 and beyond.”
Return to Live kicked off with Walk off the Earth performing at the Burlington Performing Arts Centre this past December and will continue to run until late August. All of the performances being offered will have a stream-to-home component for everyone to enjoy the experience in the way they are most comfortable.
SOM management hopes each milestone performance in Return to Live will permit an increasingly larger in-person live audience, until finally an eventual return to the full Festival experience the community has come to know and love.
SOM in a statement said, “SOM is looking to do everything possible to support the Arts & Culture sector amidst extremely challenging times. There are many artists, technicians, production, crew, stagehands, and industry professionals who have been without work for some time and the hope is that this small piece of normal will help aid the industry’s return to normal.”
Complete details here.