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VIDEO: Mission Folk Music Festival a success after 2 years away

Re-building year has attendance on par with pre-COVID years, organizers say

After two years of no in-person shows throughout COVID, the Mission Folk Music Festival has found success again.

The festival (July 22-24) has wrapped up for another year and attendance at Fraser River Heritage Park was on par with pre-COVID numbers, according to Michelle Demers-Shaevitz, the festival’s artistic director.

“Being back is every holiday, every emotion, every feeling, every joy,” Shaevitz said on Sunday. “It kind of blew us away last night.”

Shaevitz said they can comfortably say the festival has been attended by thousands of people, though they won’t release the official numbers until a later date. Pre-sale tickets alone were over 1,000, she said.

And there were concerns over whether the festival would be able to bounce back from the two-year COVID slump.

Holding the digital events did help organizers build and maintain relationships, but there was worry over how the “landscape” had changed since 2019, Shaevitz said.

Questions over available suppliers (some were lost through the pandemic), whether artists were willing to travel, if they had enough volunteers, and whether the audience would flock back abound, she said.

“This year is about building baselines again, and we’ve received really great feedback from the community,” she said. “We slowly built, obviously there’s still room for improvement, but the overall successes are amazing.”

She said the organizers are grateful for the artists who travelled, the community’s support, and said they were glad to be able to contribute back to the local economy.

“We’ve booked a lot of hotel rooms this year, we’ve employed a lot of local businesses to produce this festival, and we’re really proud of that.”