Waterloo Region Record

Hold the Line festival cancelled this year, but on for 2020

- LAURA BOOTH lbooth@therecord.com Twitter: @BoothRecor­d

WATERLOO REGION — The third annual Hold the Line festival slated for September has been cancelled.

Organizers with the local nonprofit made the decision due to a shortage of funds and complicati­ons with the venue, said Sam Nabi, one of the festival’s organizers.

“We’re in our third year and there are a few sources of startup funding that are no longer available to us,” he said.

“So part of it is financial and also part of it is we were not able to use the same venue as the previous years and trying to prepare the new venue that we had chosen just turned out to be a lot more work than expected.”

He said in order to make the new venue safe for festival goers, there needed to be a lot of changes to the site plan.

“It’s sad to not to be putting the festival together this year because it is so much fun,” he said.

“The best thing about (the festival) is being able to bring people together from different communitie­s like the cycling community, the environmen­talist community, the local food people and agricultur­e community, and getting them all in the same place together for a common celebratio­n.”

Nabi said despite the news, there is still a festival planned for next year.

The Hold the Line festival started in 2017 as a way to celebrate Waterloo Region’s countrysid­e line — boundaries set by the region in its official plan to protect rural lands from urban sprawl.

In the past two years the festival has been held on the Friday and Saturday following Labour Day. The first festival was held at the Waterloo Rod and Gun Club in St. Jacobs and last year it was at a farm in St. Agatha called Fertile Ground.

Festival goers could camp Friday night at the site, enjoy musical performanc­es by local artists, workshops, farm tours and bike rides along the countrysid­e boundaries.

Last year about 300 people attended the festival, said Nabi.

He said those who paid for tickets this year have been contacted and will get a full refund, as will sponsors.

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