Klondike Korner: DCMF 2021 is reborn in a smaller, later version this COVID year

There will be a Dawson City Music Festival this year, smaller and later than usual and with quite a few changes, but it will take place from September 10 to.12. It’s still a three day event, but bite sized.

Addressing some of the changes, society president Devon Berquist provided a historical overview.

“The Dawson City Music Festival has faced an abundance of obstacles in its 40+ year history: forest fires threatening to halt attendees en route to Dawson City; foggy afternoons of low visibility leaving planes full of performers nearly stranded mid-air; unplanned power outages catapulting the Mainstage into an acoustic chorus of chanting and singing (thankfully only temporarily), to name a few.

“’Worldwide pandemic’ was certainly not on the radar, but like all arts and music organisations, the Association has had to adapt and plan the best, prepare for the worst, and everything in between. 

“The 2020 Festival was cancelled due to logistical impasses related to COVID-19, but this year, DCMF will present a ‘miniature Festival’, a call-back to it’s humble grassroots beginnings.”

Nothing will be happening at the traditional Minto Park venue and there will be no beer garden. 

The mini-festival will be held at the Waterfront Park Gazebo during the day (or at the KIAC/Dënäkär Zho building if the weather is bad) and at the Palace Grand Theatre, operated by Parks Canada Klondike National Historic Sites during the evenings. Both indoor venues have already proven themselves capable of being COVID-29 friendly.

“Patrons can expect to see significant COVID-19 safety measures,” says producer Andrea Vincent, “including mandatory masks at indoor venues, bubbled and distanced seating, sanitization protocols, and more, subject to Yukon Government regulations. 

“In addition, broader measures have been put in place by the DCMF Association to ensure public safety,  including further limiting venue capacity and offering no food or beverage service at any event.”

While the festival usually offers talent from all across the nation, this year’s event will concentrate on Yukon performers; among them Hip Hop duo LOCAL BOY, indie folk-rocker Drea Naysayer, soulful folk-punk musician Calhoun, Gwich’in fiddle and old-time country western band Uncle Jimmy & The Hammerstones, and multi-instrumental songwriter Erica Mah, and more.

“The bite-sized Festival will also include several visiting artists, thanks to a partnership with Yukon Arts Centre and Wonderhorse Festival,” says Berquist.

In a press release DCMF offers a batch of thank yous to the Government of Yukon, Government of Canada, City of Dawson, Parks Canada (Klondike National Historic Sites), Klondike Institute of Art & Culture, Klondike Visitors Association, Yukon Arts Centre, Dänojà Zho Cultural Centre, Something Shows, and Wonderhorse. 

DCMF would also like to extend recognition to Air North, Yukon Brewing, and the many Yukon businesses and organizations who have continued to support the Association throughout the years.

Fans are advised to visit www.dcmf.com for a schedule and tickets to the 2021 Dawson City Music Festival performances at the Palace Grand Theatre. All performances at the Gazebo are free to the public.

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