Free State Festival postpones return until 2021

photo by: Kevin Anderson/Journal-World File Photo

The Lawrence Arts Center, 940 New Hampshire St., is pictured in this file photo from September 2010.

Lawrence’s Free State Festival is the latest local organization to cancel its summer event amid ongoing uncertainty related to the coronavirus pandemic.

Organizers announced Monday that the festival, which was last held in 2018, will not return until June 2021. This year’s event had been scheduled to run from June 22 through June 28.

“The heart of the festival has always been watching films with you in dark theatres, sharing ideas with guests and neighbors, and building community through shared art experiences,” organizers said in a statement. “The current limitations on public gatherings due to the coronavirus pandemic make it necessary to save this special event for a time when we can all feel comfortable making those in-person connections again.”

Virtual programming, online screenings and “unique film events” may still occur this year, organizers said, and two of the festival’s headliners — director John Waters and musician-filmmaker Boots Riley — will return in 2021. No mention was made of the third headliner, comedian Cameron Esposito.

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