Is NIMByism now thwarting Toronto’s efforts to become a friendlier Music City?
That is being asked after this week’s decision by the City of Toronto to restrict the very popular Afrofest to just one day rather than the two days fest organizers had planned for the Woodbine Park event. The City claimed there were curfew violations and noise complaints from residents, but Music Africa president/fest organizer Peter Toh was quoted as calling the decision “completely unfair and discriminatory.”
Fans of Afrofest across the city took to Twitter criticizing the City for a double standard in its handling of the matter. Several articles were also written asking the City to reverse its decision.
Since the beginning in 1989, Afrofest has grown considerably, with crowds of up to 60,000 daily making it reportedly the largest annual African music festival in North America.
UPDATE: On Wednesday March 23rd, Councillor Mary-Margaret McMahon announced that after a meeting with Afrofest organizers and Mayor John Tory had agreed to a two-day festival. The festival will run from July 9 – 10 at Woodbine Park. McMahon stated that the Toronto Music Advisory Council will also be involved in the upcoming festival to offer their expertise.