Tuesday, April 16, 2024

A Honk! festival band performs in Somerville’s Davis Square in 2019. (Photo: Marc Levy)

Caution over the coronavirus has shrunk the year’s Honk! festival of activist street bands again, this time by keeping all of the music confined to a single Saturday rather than a full weekend.

While the concept of a “decentralized” version remains, with more than 15 bands playing around Greater Boston, the free Honk! will take place just on Oct. 9, a Saturday – which means no Sunday parade to Oktoberfest in Harvard Square from Somerville’s Davis Square.

The Harvard Square Oktoberfest – the 42nd annual such event – is expected to take place noon to 6 p.m. Oct. 10, according to the Harvard Square Business Association.

As of August, Honk! organizers planned to have events for the full weekend leading up to Indigenous Peoples Day. That changed Tuesday. “In deference to the most recent Covid concerns, Honk! 2021 has again adjusted its plans,” said Mary Curtin, a publicist working on behalf of the Honk! festival, in an email.

The intention remains “to reach communities that have not been able to participate in the past, for example Nubian Square in Roxbury, while also retaining Honk!’s historic connection to Davis Square,” Curtin said. The list of participating neighborhoods, bands and organizations is expected to become available Friday, along with information on how to watch and listen online in real time.

Since its launch in Somerville in 2006, the festival has grown in size and scope, often with more than two dozen bands roaming Somerville after flying in from as far away as Brazil and Berlin. This year, only local bands are invited to take part, to discourage travel in a time that could endanger people’s health.