Northport High School student musicians and band boosters are petitioning Newsday to reinstate its marching band festival this year.
Newsday announced on Facebook last week that it was canceling this year’s festival again, and cited safety concerns. It canceled last year’s festival because of Covid-19 concerns, as well.
“The safety of our student musicians, attendees and staff is our number one priority. As the pandemic continues to endure, we have decided to postpone the 2021 Newsday Marching Band Festival. We’re looking forward to hearing the music play again in the future and hope you’ll join us when it does,” Newsday wrote.
But the Northport group created a petition that read, in part, “This year it is more than possible and safe for it to happen when indoor stadiums are filling with thousands of people every weekend and high school football teams are traveling again.
“There is no reason for us not to be able to play this year, we have already lost enough to COVID, #letthemplayNewsday,” said Braden Ciszek, Northport marching band president 2021.
As of Wednesday morning, more than 1,360 people had signed the peition, with a goal of getting 1,500 signatures.
The band festival, normally a three-night performance, draws high school performers from around Long Island. The large Northport band is a dominant presence at the festival every year.
Multiple links to the festival on Newsday.com, including from its festival page on Facebook, went to dead pages.