2020 Halifax Jazz Festival Cancelled

Sadly, these types of announcements come as very little surprise anymore, but due to COVID-19, organizers have cancelled the 2020 TD Halifax Jazz Festival (HJF). It was scheduled to take place from July 7-12.  

"While HJF may not be able to provide a stage in the same way as we normally do, we are continuing to work with our musical community to find ways of uniting people under the HJF umbrella. It’s too early to say what this will look like, but we are confident that as a collective we can find a way to inspire, cheer and connect," the festival says in its statement released today.  

The festival organizers say they came to the decision after weeks of consulting with government officials, healthcare professionals, artists, venues, and stakeholders.

"We are committed to making the health and wellbeing of everyone in our community our highest priority. With this announcement, we are deeply aware that the upcoming months are going to be challenging on the live-music industry. Just as with many other events, our team is made up of many self-employed musicians, technicians, agents, and site crew and we understand they are going to be greatly impacted during this unprecedented time. We encourage our festival goers to reach out and connect with their musical community and support artists in whatever way you can - buy their merch, stream their music, follow them on social media, watch their live-streams!" the festival encourages.

Organizers also committed to refunding purchased HJF tickets. As a registered charitable organization, it also offering festival goers the opportunity to donate the value of their ticket or pass back to HJF in exchange for a charitable tax receipt, which they say would greatly help  in allowing it to keep supporting local music creation and education.

To donate your ticket or pass click HERE by April 21, 2020. Remaining individual event ticket holders will have refunds processed automatically after April 21, 2020 and no further action is required. It will be honouring HJF 2020 Fusion and Standard passes at the 2021 TD Halifax Jazz Festival however, those unable to attend HJF 2021 can donate their pass or request a full refund by clicking ​HERE by April 21, 2020.

"Our thanks in particular goes out to our sponsors, partners and volunteers, without their long-standing commitment and support to HJF, none of this would be possible year after year. We want to thank and acknowledge the continued support provided by numerous corporate and community partners including our presenting partner TD Bank Group, along with Develop Nova Scotia, Eventbrite, Advocate, Stingray and our funders Government of Canada, Province of Nova Scotia, the City of Halifax, and the Craig Foundation.

“These are very difficult times and they demand difficult decisions. We are so proud of our partnership with the HJF organizers and the work they do, day in and day out, to bring people together with incredible entertainment at the water’s edge,” says Jennifer Angel, President and CEO of Develop Nova Scotia. “HJF is among our region’s most anticipated events in large part because the people who make it happen are creative and resilient. We stand beside them in this decision and in building a reimagined 2020 showcase.”

The festival will return from July 13-18, 2021.

For more information, go to

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Michael Raine is the Editor-in-Chief at Canadian Musician and Canadian Music Trade magazines. He also hosts the Canadian Musician Podcast.
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