It’s come to this.

Yes, the 2020 Milwaukee Polka Riot has been canceled. Because of COVID-19, of course. It would have been the fourth year for “America’s first and (as far as we know) only alternative polka festival.” Sigh.

Polka Riot organizer Evan Maruszewski knows that 2020 is far from “canceled,” however, and is calling on local polka hounds to donate to the Milwaukee Freedom Fund. “Beyond health considerations, the Milwaukee Polka Riot unequivocally supports all organizing efforts against white supremacy, state violence and the prison industrial complex,” reads a statement.

And here’s that full statement:

No, but really, what the hell?

Well, despite being a festival that literally has the word “riot” in its title, it turns out we are actually a group of responsible, ethical people who want to keep our communities safe.

To that end, we have decided the right thing to do—here in the upside-down that is 2020—is to cancel this year’s Polka Riot in favor of maintaining the health and safety of our polka family.

Beyond health considerations, the Milwaukee Polka Riot unequivocally supports all organizing efforts against white supremacy, state violence and the prison industrial complex.

Donate to the Milwaukee Freedom Fund to support the struggle for justice in our city!

We hope to polka with you all next year! Stay safe! Prost!

-Evan, co-founder Milwaukee Polka Riot

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