St. Augustine Music Festival adapts to COVID-19 restrictions to keep the concerts going

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the St. Augustine Music Festival has been moved online.

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. — The St. Augustine Music Festival won’t have any live performances this year because of COVID-19.

The free music festival usually draws more than 6,000 concertgoers into the Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine. The concert series happens during the last two weeks of June. But because of COVID-19, the festival moved their show online.

“Tonight we’re going to be showcasing Mozart, some piano quintet, for example that is for oboe, clarinet, bassoon,” Jorge Peña, the St. Augustine Music Festival Artistic Dir. said.

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Peña told Tarancon this year’s performers won’t have a live audience inside the basilica. Instead, the festival is showing a mix of archived videos and new performances people can watch online.

“When people are tuning in, they are seeing some grainy videos that came from a really long time ago and some of them are really well produced, that kind of showcase the direction the festival has taken,” Peña said.

Peña has played viola with the Jacksonville symphony for over two decades.

Although COVID-19 has changed the way the festival is being viewed this year, it hasn't changed the way music is still being celebrated.

Across the street, Concerts in the Plaza had to cancel its 2020 summer series until COVID-19 restrictions are loosened.

The city said on Twitter that concerts maybe rescheduled later in September.

The St. Augustine Music Festival will be holding another performance, “Mozart and More,” Thursday at 7:30 p.m. For more information, click here.