April 22, 2020

Important Update from the National Folk Festival


A joint statement from Mayor Jake Day, City of Salisbury, and Lora Bottinelli, executive director, National Council for the Traditional Arts (NCTA).

The National Folk Festival is an event that fosters the well-being of community through vibrant cultural exchange and the joyous gathering of tens of thousands of people from across the country in celebration of the richness of American culture. The success of this event is rooted in the tremendous community cooperation and collaboration that is shared and cultivated throughout its tenure—from event sponsors to volunteers, from city workers to the festival’s many community partners. The National Folk Festival relies on this goodwill and multiplies it through the success of the festival.

As we look ahead into 2020 and the uncertain future that COVID-19 presents, we realize that the community effort required to support an event of the scope of the National Folk Festival should be refocused to the immediate needs of all of our partners and participants, no matter their location during this global crisis. The responsible thing to do is suspend planning for the 80th National Folk Festival in 2020, and focus those energies toward community health, safety, well-being, and recovery. By suspending event planning for the year, the tremendous wellspring of support, effort, and commitment that this event has fostered can be redirected to the welfare of the Salisbury community and the most pressing needs that have emerged in the region during the public health crisis.

To that end the NCTA and the City of Salisbury are rescheduling the 80th National Folk Festival for September 10-12, 2021, in downtown Salisbury. We feel it is in the community’s best interest to pause our efforts and join others in devoting as many resources as possible toward flattening the curve so that we can return to our normal lives once health officials deem it appropriate to do so. It is disappointing to have to reschedule the festival, but it is necessary. We hope all of our supporters understand why we have come to this difficult decision.

Additional details for sponsors, artists, vendors, contractors, and volunteers will be available from the National Folk Festival leadership team in the weeks to come.

Please join Mayor Jake Day’s Daily Coronavirus Update Briefing today, April 22, at 5 p.m. (broadcast live on the City of Salisbury’s Facebook page) for a statement from NCTA Executive Director Lora Bottinelli and Mayor Day.

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