Harvest Music Festival will ask patrons to wear masks, but masking won't be mandatory

·1 min read
Dawes performs at the Harvest Music Festival in 2018. This year's festival runs from Sept. 13-18. (Gary Moore/CBC - image credit)
Dawes performs at the Harvest Music Festival in 2018. This year's festival runs from Sept. 13-18. (Gary Moore/CBC - image credit)

Organizers of Fredericton's Harvest Music Festival will be asking concertgoers to wear masks to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, but say masking won't be mandatory.

"We are encouraging patrons, audience members, volunteers, everyone who attends, any place at Harvest to wear a well-fitting N95 in all venues and partners' venues throughout the Harvest experience," said Jeff Richardson, the festival's general manager.

He said that because the province doesn't have a mask mandate in place, neither will the festival.

Richardson said COVID-19 is still top of mind at the event, which is billed as the biggest music festival east of Montreal.

In addition to the mask-ask, event tents will be altered with the aim of increasing air flow and to give people more room to space out.

Rich Fury/Getty Images for Coachella
Rich Fury/Getty Images for Coachella

"We've taken the walls off the tents, and we've reconfigured the barracks and the blues tents in ways that allow for patrons to view the stage from outside in the compound, some spaces where they'll be able to social distance," said Richardson.

He said preparations are in full swing for the festival, which begins next Tuesday.

While the festival isn't expected to completely bounce back to pre-pandemic attendance this year, it has rebounded significantly from 2020's festival, which saw the festival reduced drastically to just a handful of small, outdoor events.