Warped tour and Riot fest are among the travelling music festivals pulling a plug on a Toronto stop this summer. Along with Koi Fest and a slew of other concerts also cancelled leaves the music fans in Toronto wandering why this may be. While scheduling conflicts, timing and resources may play a role in these cancellations, the lack of funding for music festivals plays an even larger role. The weak Canadian dollar makes it difficult for homegrown music festivals to book non-domestic acts. Top talent is paid in US dollars. With the Canadian dollar value dropping and a significant price increase. DJs are getting paid more every year. Both situations make it difficult to keep these festivals going. While these issues may seem like barriers for local festivals, I think it’s an opportunity for positive change in the music industry. This gives venues the opportunity to book more local acts as a result, meaning we can shift our focus on Canadian talent. Another benefit of the dollar’s change is that is gives the opportunity for Americans to come out and experience our Canadian festivals. At such a saving, they could experience multiple festivals boosting ticket sales here; ultimately what keeps these things going. We need more consistency for local music. Festivals are a great opportunity for the community to come together, for artists to showcase their talent and for music lovers to experience music unlike anything else. Changing the structure of festivals by booking affordable local musicians rather than expensive international artists helps develop Canadian bands while giving festival owners budget friendly acts.
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