Patrick Watson Cancels at Calgary Folk Festival

Posted by CBC News Calgary on 23 July 2015

The Calgary Folk Festival says Patrick Watson will not be performing on the mainstage this Thursday

The Montreal-based electronic pop artist was expected to hit the stage before the John Butler Trio.

"Due to unfortunate health issues, Patrick Watson has had to cancel," said the Calgary Folk Festival on its Facebook page. 

"We are disappointed he won't be able to perform at this year's festival, but we are excited that we are able to present Shakey Graves on the mainstage."

The festival is offering refunds to Thursday single-day ticket holders until Wednesday at 5 p.m. at its office at 1215 10th Ave. S.E., or by phone at 403-233-0904.

folk festival artistic director kerry clarke

Weakened economy playing a part?

The announcement comes after a decline in ticket sales at this year's festival. Currently there are still tickets on sale for each day of the annual music event.

Calgary Folk Festival organizers say they've lost a few sponsors and ticket sales have been slow. (CBC)

Organizers say they have also lost a few sponsors.

"I'm not sure how we remedy it," said artistic director Kerry Clarke. "I think internally we always have to look at it like everything's a moving target. Can we reduce some expenses? Can we find more sponsors? Can we increase ticket prices or sales? It's all part of a big puzzle."

She says the low Canadian dollar isn't helping either. Roughly 50 cent of this year's talent are international musicians, and those imports are coming at a steep cost.

"It's thousands and thousands of dollars higher than we budgeted, because I've agreed to pay people that set amount in American dollars, but what that actually costs in Canadian is a crap shoot," said Clarke.

This year's lineup includes artists from 16 countries playing over the next four days.