jerkfest toronto

Toronto festival responds to complaints that its tickets were too expensive this year

Residents of Toronto have been forced to simply get used to paying even more exorbitant amounts than usual for everything lately, from rent and groceries to basic services and other necessities.

Inflation is to blame for many of the price hikes we've seen in recent months, but there are certain cost jumps that consumers have been particularly wary of, and rightfully so.

Food prices, for example, have been increasing at a faster rate than general inflation while corporations like Metro and Loblaws report unfathomable profits. Outings, too, have become ridiculously expensive, with atrocious service fees and ever-higher tipping expectations.

Ticket prices are also upsetting people, and not just when it comes to Taylor Swift or Drake, but for events such as the TD Jerk Festival Toronto that took place last weekend.

Some attendees seem to feel that the $35 cost to attend the fest, which took place in Etobicoke's Centennial Park, was too high for what was offered. One resident who reached out to blogTO also expressed that this was especially concerning given the number of sponsors on board.

But, JerkFest organizers say that sponsorship and other funding was actually way down for their 2023 iteration, and blame inflation for higher costs to put on the event. 

They also note that various reasonable price points were made available to the public, including a cheaper early bird special and customer appreciation hours where admission was only $5 ($2 for children) with the donation of non-perishable items for local food banks.

"Despite government contributions and sponsorship being down by 70 per cent this year, JerkFest was still able to offer international headline acts at a fraction of the cost of the exorbitant concert ticket prices that are currently in the marketplace," they say.

"As we are all experiencing high inflation and increased costs post-pandemic, TD JerkFest is no different. The overall cost of managing a three-day festival has also dramatically increased, which sponsorship and government contributions help alleviate, but do not cover entirely."

The long-running celebration of Caribbean food, music and culture sees tens of thousands of participants each year. The 2023 sponsors included TD, Amazon, Rogers, OLG and Bud Light, funding performers such as the reggae and dance hall acts Luciano, Cham and Destra.

Moving forward, the team says it aims to "continue to provide a safe, family-oriented festival that puts social responsibility at its forefront through free music business workshops, thousands of dollars in scholarships and bursaries, food bank donations and international initiatives," regardless of complaints or high costs to run the show.

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