Tillsonburg's Forge Fest postponed to 2021

Music fans will have to wait one more year to see bands at the Forge Fest. The popular Tillsonburg music festival was postponed until July 24, 2021.

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Music fans in the Oxford County area will have to wait one more year to see bands at the usually annual Forge Fest.

The popular Tillsonburg music festival, which focuses largely on punk, metal and indie rock bands, was just postponed until July 24, 2021.

The goal for the delayed festival is to return the same lineup set for 2020 for next year – depending on musicians’ availability, organizers said.

“Unfortunately, I had to cancel,” Ben Andress, the owner of Blacktop Records and organizer of the festival, said. “It was inevitable judging by things that have already been cancelled in August and September.

In a Facebook post, Andress said people can contact Forge Festival online for refunds. He also said the festival will be posting digital content and video streams in the coming weeks to help raise money for the Canadian Mental Health Association Oxford.

Andress has plans to compile a CD of Forge Fest content that can be marketed – with limited sponsor advertising – to make a donation to the mental health association, an idea he figures he can do every year at Forge Fest.


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“Let’s keep the conversation going and make the best of 2020 and take the time to knock 2021 out of the park! Thank you for your understanding and support of the festival,” Andresss said in the Facebook post.

The festival occupies multiple venues in Tillsonburg, featuring dozens of bands, solo performers and comedy acts. Past performers at the festival included Single Mothers, the Heart Attack Kids, Small Town Leeches and Anubis.

Last year, the festival sold more than 250 wristbands and donated more than $3,000 to the Canandian Mental Health Assocation Oxford. All artists are also paid during the festival, Andress said, receiving at least food and gas money, while headliners make more.

With the festival relying on local sponsorships, Andress noted it would’ve been a struggle to gain the same level of support as past years to make the festival a success.

“Some small businesses that may have been happy to kick in $100 to have their logo on posters, they haven’t been open in the last couple of months.”

Some headliners were also travelling to Tillsonburg from the United States, which is tricky with the Canadian-U.S. border still closed to non-essential travel.

The festival had slightly more than 100 band and agency applications for 2020, and Andress remainscommitted to the same line-up.

There is also a possibility of hosting a mini Forge Fest, depending on social gathering restrictions in July.

“If we can have a coffee house-type show with 40 people, maybe we could do a mini Forge Fest. It’s a cool idea. If there’s time to do it, maybe a little festival, make some smiles happen.”


Here’s a rundown of our daily coverage on the Woodstock-area fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic from March, April and May.

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