Ann Arbor Folk Festival canceled due to COVID-19 surge


Emmylou Harris. - CHRIS87, SHUTTERSTOCK
  • chris87, Shutterstock
  • Emmylou Harris.

The 2022 Ann Arbor Folk Festival has been called off due to the COVID-19 surge in Michigan.

Organizers made the announcement Friday in a post on The Ark's website.

"Based on the current direction and impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, The Ark has made the difficult decision to cancel this year’s Ann Arbor Folk Festival," the organizers wrote. "Although the Folk Festival is The Ark’s largest annual fundraising event and canceling means losing a vital source of our annual operating revenue, our primary concern at this time is for the health and safety of patrons, artists, crew, staff, and the broader community."

According to the organizers, factors that led to the decision include one of the headliners canceling, and the anticipation of more artists doing the same. The organizers also pointed out that COVID-19 cases are rising nationally and that the omicron wave of the virus is expected to continue to surge for the next few weeks.

Hospitals in Michigan are also at capacity and understaffed, and organizations like Michigan Medicine have asked people to avoid large gatherings for the next few weeks to try to reduce spread.

The 45th Ann Abor Folk Festival was scheduled for Friday, Jan. 28 and Saturday, Jan. 29. Acts booked to perform included Emmylou Harris, Glen Hansard, Patty Griffin, and Punch Brothers, among others.

The organizers say they are reaching out to fans for refunds, but ask to consider donating the ticket price or a portion of it to help support The Ark.

Several Michigan-based artists will be participating in a livestream tribute to the late Nanci Griffith. Details are forthcoming.

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