Toronto’s highly regarded Winterfolk Blues and Roots Festival will be temporarily suspended for the entirety of 2024, signaling a departure from its annual celebration of diverse musical talents and the unique winter atmosphere it brings. The decision stems from the unexpected health challenges faced by a pivotal member of the Winterfolk team, notably Festival Director and Founder Brian Gladstone, who recently disclosed his diagnosis of leukemia.

Gladstone candidly explained, “We endeavor to address all contingencies to ensure a successful festival, but an unforeseen health issue surfaced late into the planning process. Had we been aware a few months ago, we could have filled the position, but now it’s too close to the festival time.”

Established in 2003, Winterfolk has firmly established itself as a cultural cornerstone in Toronto, drawing music enthusiasts from diverse locations to revel in the sounds of roots, bluegrass, singer-songwriter, folk, jazz, blues, and global music. The festival’s distinctive charm is set against the winter backdrop of the city’s east end and downtown core.

Acknowledging the complexity of the decision, organizers intend to utilize this hiatus to collaborate closely with artists, sponsors, and the community, actively seeking valuable input and ideas to ensure that the 2025 edition surpasses the expectations of Winterfolk’s dedicated fan base.

As Winterfolk takes this temporary pause, supporters are encouraged to stay informed through the festival’s website, where regular updates and announcements about the revitalization process and plans for the highly anticipated return in 2025 will be posted.

From the Winterfolk Team