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Montreal Festivals Are Watching COVID-19 Outbreak "Very Closely" As Events Start To Cancel

Large festivals around the world are cancelling 2020 festivities.
Montreal Festivals Are Watching COVID-19 Outbreak "Very Closely" As Events Start To Cancel
  • Evenko and Équipe Spectra tell MTL Blog that they're watching the COVID-19 outbreak "very closely" as other events and festivals around the world cancel or postpone festivities.
  • Reports indicate that there could be pressure on large events to cancel this year.

As more and more festivals get cancelled in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, Montrealers should feel relieved that no festivals are cancelled this summer. As it stands, festival organizers in Montreal such as Evenko and Équipe Spectra are keeping a close eye on how the situation develops from now until the arrival of the city's festival season. With countless festivals on the horizon that will attract hundreds of thousands of tourists to Montreal this summer, the public might be a little concerned about their health and safety. 

MTL Blog reached out to Evenko and Équipe Spectra to find out if the companies are planning to cancel any upcoming events.

Both companies answered that they are "monitoring the COVID-19 situation very closely. Should the situation evolve, we will follow the advice of the Minister of Health and Social Services."

"The health and safety of our fans and employees are our highest priorities, and we will implement all necessary safety measures as required." 

Around the world, festivals are responding to the threat of COVID-19 by cancelling their events.

Internationally renowned music festivals like South by Southwest (SXSW), Tomorrowland Europe, and the Ultra Music Festival have already cancelled summer events in response to the spread of the novel coronavirus. 

One of the first large-scale events to be cancelled in Canada was the TED 2020 conference in Vancouver. The event will be held virtually or postponed until July. 

Many other events have cancelled or postponed festivities, such as the London Book Fair, the world's largest international book exposition. 

In the United States, huge events like the Seattle Comic-Con and the NCAA March Madness basketball tournament have outright cancelled festivities and in the case of the NCAA, cancelled games and travel between cities. 

In France, the government officially legislated a ban on public gatherings over 1,000 people.

READ ALSO: Lead Microbiologist Implores Montrealers To Not Buy Masks As COVID-19 Panic Grips Canada

As festival organizers in Montreal are in "wait-and-see" mode, COVID-19 screening centres have popped up in local hospitals. 

Festivals such as the Montreal Jazz Festival attract some two million visitors over its two weeks. Osheaga also sees huge attendance numbers in the hundreds of thousands over the three days. 

Does this mean you need to panic and cancel your plans to go to a local music festival this summer? 

According to festival organizers, it's business as usual. Until events are cancelled, Montrealers shouldn't panic about the spread of COVID-19 at music festivals. 

With two confirmed cases and a potential third case awaiting confirmation in Quebec and many more in Canada, fear has gripped the public. 

Quebec Health Minister Danielle McCann has asked for calm and reassures the public that the province is doing everything it can to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

"We want to reassure people. The health network is ready to deal with a possible emergence of COVID-19 cases in Canada. We are also flexible enough to be able to adapt our actions to the changing situation."