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Festival update from CKUA

Marc's Mailbag

Q:  Where is the CKUA tent at my favourite festival?

We made a bold decision, much to many people’s surprise. We decided to scale back our presence at music festivals this summer.

You may ask, “Why? CKUA is always at festivals.” True, we are. And we still are this year, just in a limited fashion. There are two main reasons for the change.

You will recall that we came up short on our 2022 spring fundraising campaign. Unfortunately, that means costs have to be curtailed. For example, we used to spend $40-60K to be at festivals every summer. I hope donors will appreciate that we have decided to forgo that expense this year in an effort to do right with their financial support.

We aren’t staffed to run a full festival tent right now. We reorganized CKUA to navigate the pandemic, which means how we run the business has changed. We also have a passionate and dedicated team that has been going non-stop these past two years, and COVID fatigue has become real for many of us. While going to a few festivals might seem like a relatively simple exercise, it’s actually quite complex and time-consuming. Without enough people or the budget to share the workload right now, the health and well-being of my team will always take priority.

This isn’t us walking away from festivals, as some have feared. Over the past few years, we have continued to cultivate the Alberta festival spirit via Festival Radio for our listeners, when festivals were scaled back or postponed. It’s simple, really. While festivals are ready to come back full force this year, we aren’t. And that’s okay. Just like in life, sometimes you have to slow things down, come up for air, and reassess before diving back in.

We’ll be back next summer in a more meaningful way. But in the meantime, enjoy all there is to experience this summer. There are some great festival lineups to enjoy across Alberta, and beyond.

As always, we welcome your questions and comments at

Marc Carnes,
CKUA Donor and CEO