After much deliberation, the organizers of Hampdenfest are disappointed to have to announce that there will be no Hampdenfest this year.
The award-winning neighborhood street festival has withstood tropical storms, hurricanes, and even the city cancelling a planned date at the last minute, and has gone off as planned for two decades. However, the COVID-19 crisis has posed a number of obstacles that simply can't be overcome in order for us to host a fun, and most importantly, SAFE, festival.
First and foremost is the concept of a festival in the time of a pandemic seems antithetical. The point of Hampdenfest is to both host a fun street party for all our neighbors while also inviting people from all over the region to come into the neighborhood to see what we have to offer. A fun, successful festival means thousands of people on the Avenue. Any festival or party that encourages large gatherings of people while a life-threatening disease is still being transmitted strikes us as socially irresponsible.
Further, in order to host a street festival, we have to be able to pull city permits for it and there is no indicator as to when Baltimore City will begin to allow such permitting to happen.
Also, a festival like Hampdenfest depends on a number of small business sponsors, and it's clear to us that many businesses are simply struggling to exist and not in a position to help sponsor a festival.
There are a number of other logistical reasons that make Hampdenfest 2020 impossible. And as organizers, we see no way to reconcile them.
We hope to see you all at a future Hampdenfest.