No cases of Covid-19 have so far been identified related to the return of Folk on the Rocks and festival organizers say this year’s event outperformed financial expectations.
The three-day Yellowknife festival was the territory’s first major in-person event since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. Thousands of people attended the site over the weekend.
While a range of public health measures were in place, most notably omnipresent hand sanitizer and signs encouraging the use of masks and social distancing, in practice many festivalgoers acted as they would have pre-pandemic.
Asked if it was handling any reports or incidents related to the festival, a spokesperson for the NWT government’s Covid-19 Secretariat said by email: “Nothing to report.”
“We were encouraging everyone to wear masks and socially distance,” said Carly McFadden, executive director of Folk on the Rocks, on Wednesday. “It seemed like Yellowknife felt very comfortable in the space and we were very happy for that.”
McFadden said the festival almost sold out on Saturday and, while ticket sales were “a little slower” on Sunday, Folk on the Rocks had a financially solid weekend and merchandise sales were notably high.
“We actually did better than we thought we would do, all things considered,” she told Cabin Radio. “We sold out of all of our 2021 merchandise and performer merchandise was really high in sales as well.
“I’m really surprised by how much merch we sold. In the time I’ve been with the festival, we’ve never sold out of merch like that. I think our community really missed us.
“We’re very proud. We’re so grateful to our community for coming out and supporting us in the way they did. The response we got was unexpected, we really felt the love from our community.”