When the concert COVID-19 concert cancellation cascade started in early March, we started compiling a list of all the scheduled shows, tours, and festivals affected by the outbreak. As the situation worsened over the course of the ensuing days, it became clear that documenting every canceled/postponed show was a fool’s errand. We quickly pivoted to building a list of concerts that were still not canceled. That list, too, rapidly proved to be pointless. To borrow a concept from the sports world, there’s no need for a box score if the whole game is rained out.
With WHO and CDC guidelines now in place to limit the spread of the virus—and being tightened and extended at a rapid rate—everyone is beginning to come to terms with realities of the #QuarantineLife we’ll all be living for a while. What nobody can agree on, at this point, is just how long this new “normal” will last.
Rather than tell you all of the events that have been canceled, this article will track the elongation of the coronavirus concert shutdowns as they continue to develop. We’ll keep you updated as the threshold of cancellations continues to move into 2021, update you on rescheduled dates, keep general tabs on the novel coronavirus’ constantly evolving disruption of the concert industry, and highlight what measures the industry is taking to adapt.
More so than any piece we’ve ever published, we hope this page becomes irrelevant as soon as possible. Until then, check back to keep tabs on the status of this unprecedented “live” hiatus.
[Note: In these uncertain times, we have to rely on the help of our community. If you notice that something is missing or have any new updates to report on this front, you can reach out to Andrew O’Brien at email@example.com]
Monday, October 17th, 12:00 p.m. ET
Hip-hop group Three 6 Mafia announced a live performance at Louisville, KY’s Rupp Arena on December 11th. The group is marketing the performance as the first indoor arena concert in the country since the pandemic began—”approved by the Governor.”
“We have been in contact with the KY State Department of Health for many weeks working out the details and coming up with a plan that fulfills the safety protocols recommended by the CDC and the Commonwealth of Kentucky,” Lexington Center Corporation CEO/President Bill Owen said of the upcoming event. “We are confident that the measures we have put in place will provide a safe environment for patrons to come out and enjoy live entertainment. We are excited for this opportunity to reopen our doors and welcome concert-goers back to Rupp Arena!”
While this is certainly a step toward some sort of normalcy in terms of live concerts, it’s only a small one. The concert will be limited to 15% of the usual capacity, including a max of 3,152 patrons plus event staff, a model that seems financially unsustainable in the longterm. Beyond that, COVID cases have been on the rise all over the country in recent weeks. Kentucky’s curve has been trending upward since the beginning of July, and just this past weekend recorded some of its highest numbers of new cases since the pandemic began. Who knows what the picture will look like there come December.
Tuesday, October 13th, 4:00 p.m.
Over the last few months, we’ve seen many acts shift to socially-distanced concerts like drive-ins and pod shows—so much so that, at times, it almost feels like a new kind of touring circuit has sprouted out of these artists, promoters, and makeshift venues “making lemonde.” Of course, the effects of these developments in the pandemic-conscious concert space ripple outward, and some endeavors are finding non-COVID-related issues as they go. One popular socially-distanced venue that popped up in Connecticut over the summer, South Farms, has now been hit with a cease and desist from the town of Morris over zoning restrictions. Though the order won’t go into effect until next year, allowing the venue’s full schedule of fall shows to take place as planned, South Farms won’t be able to operate as a venue next spring, eliminating one of the few feasible live concert options available in the process.
Wednesday, October 7th, 4:00 p.m.
Executives at Goldenvoice and AEG Presents are reportedly planning to reschedule the dates for Coachella and likely Stagecoach for the third time to the fall of 2021.
A new report shared by Rolling Stone on Wednesday reveals unnamed sources who have been in direct communication with Coachella organizers have been asked by those organizers to prepare for another reschedule to the fall 2021 months, although no specific dates were included. Another credible source, Mark Scott (city manager of Indio) tells Rolling Stone that his office is working on a “Budget option” for a possible third date postponement, but didn’t confirm any specific plans or dates.
The report shared on Wednesday comes after organizers for arguably the largest and most successful pop and country music festivals in North America have already been forced to reschedule their events not once, but twice since the emergence of COVID-19 in the early months of 2020. Goldenvoice first rescheduled the two spring 2020 festivals–which both take place on the same location in Indio, CA–to October 2020, but by mid-summer organizers were ultimately forced to push both events back even further to spring 2020. As of Wednesday, Coachella is still scheduled to take place on April 9th-11th, 2021 (weekend one), and April 16th-18th, 2021 (weekend two), with Stagecoach set for April 23rd-25th, 2021.
Tuesday, September 29th, 1:00 p.m.
The next Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival has been pushed even further into the future, marking its third postponement due to the coronavirus. The festival will now take place on September 2nd–5th, 2021.
For those keeping track, since the last Bonnaroo took place last summer, the festival has officially announced four different dates for the next installment. Of note, the initial postponement of Bonnaroo back in March was one of the developments we highlighted in the first entry in this Concert Cancellation Tracker. More than six months and many updates later, the future of the live events industry remains just as uncertain as it was in the Spring.
The many Roo postponements provide a telling look at the universal uncertainty facing the live music industry at this time. Everyone is working very hard to make things work and make them safe, but the goal posts are constantly moving. The story of Bonnaroo’s various postponements over the past several months presents a quintessentially “2020” narrative. Originally announced on January 7th of this year, the 2020 edition of the Manchester, TN festival was set to take place on June 11th–14th, 2020. Then, on March 18th, as the scope of the coronavirus’ inevitable effects on the live events industry suddenly became quite apparent, Bonnaroo organizers postponed the 2020 event to late September of this year—a common reaction from large-scale, early-summer festivals at that time. However, as the scope of the pandemic worsened in the U.S. in late June, the Bonnaroo team made the call to throw in the towel on 2020 and instead look toward next year, pushing the postponed September dates back to June 17th–20th, 2021.
The festival did manage to provide fans with a weekend of entertainment on the initial rescheduled September dates this past weekend with a weekend-long streaming event featuring new and archival performances from a slew of Bonnaroo artists, dubbed Virtual ROO-ALITY.
Friday, September 25th, 7:00 p.m.
As states gradually reopen with a myriad of safety measures and social distancing protocols in place, Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis has decided to throw caution to the wind. On Friday, DeSantis signed an executive order lifting all COVID-19 restrictions on all businesses in the state, including bars, restaurants, music venues, and sports arenas/stadiums. The executive order also limits the ability of local governments to enforce their own safety protocols, like the mask-wearing mandate in Miami that corresponded with a significant drop in cases in the city in the late summer.
“There will not be limitations from the state of Florida,” DeSantis said during a press conference Friday. “I think this will be very, very important to the industry. Some of the local [governments] can do reasonable regulations, but you can’t say no after six months and just have people twisting in the wind.”
Although the thought of live music getting back to normal is something we are all eagerly anticipating, the hardline decision from DeSantis has unsurprisingly troubled some local officials.
“The mask in public rule was something we were heavily enforcing, and that was, I believe, a big reason why the numbers were going down so dramatically,” Miami mayor Francis Suarez told CNN. “I think it’s going to have a huge impact. I just don’t know how many people are actually going to do it now.”
Thursday, September 17th, 5:30 p.m.
While the live music industry remains mostly crippled, we’re slowly seeing pandemic-conscious live performances trickle back at different rates across the country. In the Northeast, drive-in shows and, increasingly, “pod”-style concert formats have become regular occurrences, creating something of a touring “circuit” for mid-level bands. In Colorado, various limited-capacity indoor (100 people) and outdoor (175 people) shows have been announced for the coming weeks.
Despite the short-term success of these socially distant models, new developments in other parts of the world seem to indicate that they will not necessarily work as long-term solutions for the events industry. In the U.K., the highly publicized Virgin Money Unity Arena, a 2,500-capacity, socially-distanced concert venue, confirmed on Thursday that it would shut down after just six weeks due to a spike in COVID-19 cases and subsequent new lockdown restrictions on the Newcastle region. While the concerts themselves may have been run safely, the influx of travelers to the venue seems to align with the spike in cases in the area over that six-week period.
Monday, September 14th, 12:00 p.m. ET
The television broadcast on the morning of Thanksgiving will air pre-taped performances from local musicians and entertainers who weren’t named specifically with the announcement. Additionally, the famous large balloons will still be flown without a large number of handlers as per usual, but rather an “Innovative, specially rigged anchor vehicle framework of five specialty vehicles tested and approved by the NYPD,” de Blasio’s press announcement on Monday revealed.
“It will not be the same parade we’re used to. It will be a different kind of an event,” the Mayor said with Monday’s address. “They’re reinventing the event for this moment in history.” Thanksgiving takes place on Thursday, November 26th.
Friday, September 11th, 2:00 p.m. ET
The Americana Music Association has officially called off its Americana Honors & Awards ceremony at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium. The event was set to take place just five days from now on Wednesday, September 16th.
As Americana Music Association executive director Jed Hilly noted along with the announcement, “Despite all our hope, logistical wrangling and passion, we have concluded that it would not be safe to conduct the Americana Honors & Awards at the wonderful and historic Ryman Auditorium next Wednesday, September 16. … We’ve carefully evaluated safety measures both with an audience and without. It is our conclusion that if just one person walked out of the Ryman with COVID-19, we would not be able to forgive ourselves. We are making new plans to celebrate the nominees and to proclaim the winners later this fall, and we hope to have details on that shortly.”
The late John Prine, who won artist of the year a record three times, is vying for a record-extending fourth award in that category. Prine died on April 7 at age 73 after exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms. Brandi Carlile, who won artist of the year last year, is also nominated in the category. She is vying to become just the third repeat winner in the category, following Prine and Buddy Miller.
The other three nominees are Brittany Howard, leader of Alabama Shakes, who released her solo debut album Jamie; Tanya Tucker, who won a Grammy for best country album for While I’m Livin’, and Yola, a Grammy nominee for best new artist.
If the Americana Honors & Awards show had gone on as planned on September 16th, it would have conflicted with the virtual ACM Awards, which are taking place in Nashville for the first time from three crowd-less venues: The Ryman, the Grand Ole Opry, and the Bluebird Cafe.
Tuesday, September 8th, 4:45 p.m. ET
A new study by the IZA Institute of Labor Economics asserts that the recent Sturgis Motorcycle Rally can be linked to over 260,000 COVID-19 cases around the country. The 10-day rally and music festival, held in South Dakota last month, drew well over 400,000 attendees to the sleepy town of Sturgis with a year-round population of around 7,000. These new case numbers would represent roughly 20% of the 1.4 million new coronavirus cases in the U.S. between August 2nd and September 2nd.
As if the estimated 266,796 coronavirus cases that supposedly stemmed from the event weren’t enough, those cases have also resulted in an estimated $12.2 billion in public health costs. Economists reached that figure by using a separate estimation that it costs approximately $46,000 to treat each COVID-19 case. The researchers said the following to add some perspective, “This is enough to have paid each of the estimated 462,182 rally attendees $26,553.64 not to attend.”
The study, conducted by researchers Dhaval Dave, Andrew I. Friedson, Drew McNichols, and Joseph J. Sabia, uses a model based on cell phone tracking data and CDC numbers in order to examine the spread of the virus. The model has since been decried by local public health officials as inaccurate. Local officials have also noted that the study has not been peer reviewed and that the model does not align with reported numbers.
That discrepancy is because the state is identifying specific cases through contact tracing. The study takes a different approach, looking at the areas that sent the most people to the rally and how case trends changed after the event rather than direct contact tracing.
In a statement to Sioux Falls Argus Leader, Andrew Friedson, one of the authors of the study, noted, “We’re never going to be able to contact trace every single person from Sturgis,” Friedson said. “So if we want a good-faith estimate using, at the moment, the accepted statistical techniques … this is the best number we’re going to get in my opinion.”
Read the full report here.
Monday, September 7th, 2:00 p.m. ET
While Labor Day Weekend has come and gone without the customary slew of big end-of-season concerts and festivals, bands like Umphrey’s McGee, Lotus, Dark Star Orchestra, Kitchen Dwellers, Andy Frasco & The U.N., and many more hit the stage for socially distant drive-in concerts this weekend.
In terms of the return of “normal” concerts, the future remains a mystery. It seems, at the very least, that most large events have already abandoned hope for 2020 and are looking hopefully toward 2021. Last week, Art Basel in Miami Beach, the global art and culture festival that takes places each December, has been canceled.
While some had held out hope that the event would be able to go on as planned on its usual December 3–6 dates, officials said they had little choice given the continued uncertainty over the pandemic’s course, international travel restrictions and quarantine regulations across the country and abroad.
Saturday, September 5th, 4:30 p.m. ET
Radiohead‘s Thom Yorke has postponed and cancelled dates for his Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes solo tour, after initially moving the spring 2020 tour to the fall. Yorke’s shows in New York, NY (10/2-10/4), Phoenix, AZ (10/11), and Sacramento, CA (10/13) have been postponed indefinitely. Furthermore, his performances in Washington D.C. (9/27), Chicago, IL (10/6), and Denver, CO (10/19) have been cancelled completely. Refunds can be obtained from the point of purchase. Head here for more information.
Saturday, September 5th, 3:30 p.m. ET
Billy Joel has rescheduled his performances at Madison Square Garden for the fall of 2021 and winter 2022. While the concerts were originally scheduled for March through August 2020, Joel initially rescheduled them for Fall 2020 back in April as COVID-19 swept across the U.S. Now, as the halt on large-scale live events continues into its sixth month, The Piano Man was forced to reschedule once again.
The new run of shows are set to commence on November 5th, 2021. He will then perform at the historic New York City arena once a month for the following five months, with shows on December 20th, January 14th, 2022, February 12th, 2022, and finally Match 24th, 2022.
All tickets purchased for the original shows will be valid for the rescheduled performances. Furthermore, ticket holders can receive a refund within 30 days by contacting Ticketmaster or the Madison Square Garden box office. Head to Joel’s website for more information.
Tuesday, September 1st, 4:30 p.m. ET
The Ryman Auditorium, affectionately known as “The Mother Church of Country Music,” will host a live concert with a live audience this Friday, September 4th for the first time since shows at the Nashville venue were paused in March. Travis McCreery will perform for a reduced-capacity audience of 125 (the venue normally holds more than 2,300) seated in “PODS” of two to six people. Masks will be mandatory for all guests and staffs, and all concession areas will remain closed throughout the evening. While this is something of a symbolic win, it’s nonetheless encouraging to see the Mother Church get (some of) its congregation back after nearly six months.
Monday, August 31st
Over the weekend, organizers of LOCKN’ announced that the festival will ultimately be pushed back to October 1st–3rd, 2021. Originally, organizers had postponed the event to October 2nd–4th, 2020 in the hope that the situation surrounding live music would calm down by then. Even as all other large scale festivals cancelled, the LOCKN’ team held their ground and even sent out safety measures to ticketholders last month.
Now instead of the physical festival, Peter Shapiro and the LOCKN’ team will host a three-night run of audienceless Joe Russo’s Almost Dead concerts at Infinity Downs in Arrington, VA. Ticketholders will be given free access to the streams, hosted on Shapiro’s FANS website. LOCKN’s cancellation marks the last of the big festivals that tried to merely postpone to later in the year with the hopes of conditions improving by then.
Monday, August 24th, 12:00 p.m. ET
Five months after concert promoters and event planners began to cancel or postpone their planned tours, concerts, and festivals, it now appears COVID-19 will wreak havoc on awards season as well. On Monday, organizers for the 2020 iHeartRadio Music Awards, which was originally scheduled to take place on March 29th at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, has been canceled altogether. The annual pop music-focused event was postponed back on March 16th.
According to an announcement shared by Billboard on Monday confirms winners will still be announced over the Labor Day weekend on 840 iHeartRadio stations across the country and through the radio broadcaster’s social media pages. Virtual acceptance speeches from the winners will also be included in the updated programming.
Wednesday, August 19th, 2:00 p.m. ET
Since the innovative idea of drive-in concerts emerged from European event producers back in late April, more and more artists are continuing to test out on that idea. Despite some setbacks caused by a few instances of social distancing violations at certain events, the drive-in model has become something of a “new normal.”
In the last week, a long list of performers announced and performed drive-in shows, with more being announced every day. Those getting in on the drive-in trend include Umphrey’s McGee, Marc Rebillet, Goose, Billy Strings, Yonder Mountain String Band, Twiddle, Marcus King Trio, Dark Star Orchestra, Citizen Cope, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, SunSquabi, Guster, Pink Talking Fish, and The Avett Brothers, among many others.
Wednesday, August 19th, 1:00 p.m. ET
Just one day after announcing their first drive-in shows scheduled for early September, Umphrey’s McGee has confirmed their upcoming performances in California, Texas, and Oklahoma–which were also set to take place next month–will now be pushed back to September 2021.
A statement shared by the band on Wednesday reads, “We remained hopeful that we might be able to tour this fall, however due to the realties surrounding Covid19, we are postponing all CA, TX & OK ’20 dates to Sept ’21. Tix will be valid for the ’21 dates & refunds available via purchase point. Be safe and take care of each other.”
The rock band has already postponed some of their biggest performances that were planned for 2020, including their UMBowl shows at The Capitol Theatre and their RÖCKJAVIK destination event in Reykjavik, Iceland.
Fans should head to the band’s website for more info.
Thursday, August 13th, 9:00 a.m. ET
KISS has rescheduled the remaining dates on their 2020 End of the Road farewell tour with David Lee Roth to next year, the band announced on Wednesday.
The initial run of 2020 North American performances as part of the classic rock band’s final tour began back on February 1st and was scheduled to continue through the summer and into fall, but the arrival of COVID-19 in mid-March shut the tour down indefinitely. The rescheduled 2021 dates will now pick up next summer on August 18th in Mansfield, MA, and will continue through the fall before wrapping on October 6th in Lafayette, LA.
Click here to see the full listing of rescheduled dates and ticket info.
Friday, August 7th, 10:00 a.m. ET
The Foo Fighters have canceled all of the dates as part of their 2020 Van Tour in celebration of the rock outfit’s 25th anniversary this year. The 10-show tour was initially scheduled to take place in April and May, and dates were optimistically rescheduled to October and December 2020 upon the arrival of COVID-19 earlier this year.
A statement shared to the band’s social media pages on Friday morning reads, “Foo Fighters have cancelled the Van Tour 2020. All shows listed below will be automatically refunded. For further information, please visit your point of purchase. We look forward to seeing you all as soon as it is safe for everyone to do so.”
Prior to the industry shutdown, singer Dave Grohl revealed the band had completed finalizing the recordings for what will be their 10th studio album.
Tuesday, August 4th, 9:00 a.m. ET
On Tuesday, over 150 independent venues in New York City including the Bitter End, Bowery Ballroom, Nuyorican Poets Cafe, Baby’s Alright, Knitting Factory, and more announced the formation of the New York Independent Venue Association (NYIVA), which is affiliated with NIVA on a more regional level.
The announcement coincides with NYIVA’s proposed day of action on Tuesday (August 4th) where the collection of venues is asking fans to help in contacting their congressional representatives and urge them to support the Save Our Stages Act and the Restart Act–the two pieces of bipartisan legislation introduced by Senators Todd Young, Michael Bennet, Amy Klobuchar, and John Cornyn last month.
According to NYIVA’s announcement, venues in the busy New York City metro area will require roughly $300,000 (on average per venue) to sustain their businesses with staff payroll and overhead costs if they are to remain closed through the rest of the year. The announcement also states venue landlords could claim $150,000 in money owed from the past few months.
Click here to take action and contact your state legislators and help save the backbone of the live music industry before it’s too late.
Thursday, July 30th, 10:00 a.m. ET
As the New York government continues to increase restrictions on drive-in events, Twiddle‘s three-night drive-in run in Lake George, NY this weekend has been canceled. As the band noted in a statement, “We are very sorry to report that our Lake George shows are cancelled this weekend. Our team spent the last 48 hours working through every possible scenario to not only make sure that the experience would be as great as possible given the current guidelines, but to make sure the event was safe in every way. We are just as upset and sad as you are and wanted nothing more than to play live again for all of you. We are extremely sorry, but safety has to be first and foremost. Tickets are available for refunds at point of purchase and we are working on something special for all those that had a ticket.” The band’s three scheduled drive-in shows in Vermont next month are, at this point, still moving forward as planned.
Wednesday, July 29th, 6:30 p.m. ET
By this point, you’ve surely heard about the growing trend of drive-in concerts as a substitute for regular mass gatherings this summer. This model, however, is starting to show cracks with regard to its actual viability.
On Saturday, The Chainsmokers hosted a high-end drive-in event in the Hamptons (NY). Though organizers maintain that they tried to enforce social distancing guidelines, video from the event showed large crowds of people generally ignoring CDC and state guidelines. NY Governor Andrew Cuomo responded in a tweet on Monday that he was “appalled” at the footage, referring to the event’s apparent flaunting of distancing mandates as “egregious” and promising to launch an investigation into the event and its organizers. “We have no tolerance for the illegal & reckless endangerment of public health,” Cuomo concluded.
Perhaps this added pressure from the government is causing venues to rethink the risks posed to them and their reputations by these “socially distanced” shows—among others, this weekend’s moe. drive-in shows at Vernon Downs have been canceled. According to the announcement on the band’s social media pages, Vernon Downs informed them on Wednesday that they would no longer host the shows, billed as “moe.’s Miracle Mile”, originally scheduled to take place this Friday and Saturday, July 31st and August 1st.
Wednesday, July 29th, 11:00 a.m. ET
Organizers for Borderland Music + Arts Festival have announced the cancelation of the 2020 event which was scheduled to return to its home at Knox State Park in East Aurora, NY on September 19th-20th. The annual end-of-summer festival will hopefully return in September 2021, with possible smaller events set to take place until then.
A statement shared by festival organizers on Wednesday morning reads,
To Our Friends,
As the days have gone by, we have tried to navigate these ever changing times the best we could, always holding on to hope. As of today, we have turned every possible stone and we understand that we are not able to deliver you the Borderland Festival experience under the current circumstances. Working within State of New York guidelines, we are moving the Borderland Music + Arts Festival to September 2021.
We are currently working on other ideas for September that will be more manageable and safe for social distancing with bands. We are also working expeditiously on new experiences and opportunities to bring you music and create community as we ride these waves of change. Please stay with us! We much think out of the box and pivot with the times but we promise to keep the music alive and to continue to deliver the Borderland vibe.
Ticketholders for the 2020 event are encouraged to head to the festival website for more info on refund options and the 2021 bling faith tickets.
Tuesday, July 28st, 2:00 p.m. ET
Wilco and Trampled By Turtles have postponed their three-show run of co-headlining performances scheduled for this September to now take place in 2021.
Announced on Tuesday, the two veteran rock acts will now embark on their short tour starting at Water Works Park in Des Moines, IA on September 16th, 2021; the Capital Credit Union Park in Green Bay, WI on September 17th, 2021; and Treasure Island Amphitheater in Welch, MN on September 18th, 2021.
Tickets for the 2020 dates will be honored in 2021, and refunds are available for ticketholders at the original point of purchase.
Tuesday, July 21st, 4:00 p.m. ET
Suwannee Hulaween has officially been canceled for 2020, organizers announced today. The Halloween music festival, slated for October 29th–November 1st at The Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak, FL, is traditionally one of the last and most popular festivals of the fall season. In a statement posted to social media, organizers stated that though they have been working tirelessly to assure a safe camping experience at Suwannee, the state of Florida itself has not been working as hard toward the same goal.
Conversely, the U.K. government has announced that indoor concerts will return to England beginning on August 1st. The announcement from Prime Minister Boris Johnson marks the beginning of the fourth step in the Kingdom’s five-step approach to the return of the arts. Venues will be required to take extensive measures to ensure social distancing and prevent the spread of disease, many of which may be cost prohibitive and keep some venues from reopening at all, says BBC arts editor Will Gompertz.
Scientists in Germany have announced a concert experiment to better understand the way that germs move in a large indoor setting. During a concert from singer-songwriter Tim Bendzko in Leipzig, 4,000 volunteers will don matchstick-sized “contact tracers” which will track their interception of germs. Upon entry, each attendee will receive a dollop of hand sanitizer that, in addition to protecting against germs, will a UV-detectable trace element on any surface with which the person comes in contact. Researchers will also test three different entry scenarios during the event: the first being normal entry as was practiced pre-pandemic, the second being a slightly modified approach, and the third being a heavily regulated approach with capacity reduced to 2,000 people.
While many countries appear to be moving forward toward normalcy thanks to an abundance of caution, there are also plenty of detractors. This past weekend, July Mini Fest (formerly known as “Herd Immunity Fest“) took place at Ringle, WI’s Q&Z Expo Center. In addition to a slew of hard rock and nu metal bands, a crowd of 750 to 1,000 people, some practicing social distancing and many (according to Sponge frontman Vinnie Dombroski) not wearing masks, gathered for three days of outdoor music. Over across the pond, thousands of young people convened for an illegal rave at an airfield outside of Bath in England. In light of the large attendance (police estimated over 3,000 people), local law enforcement were unable to deter the mob of partiers.
There was also a small victory as Billy Strings marked one of the first performers to actually make up a concert appearance that was canceled due to COVID-19. Unfortunately, that appearance was only on Jimmy Kimmel Live! rather than The Peach Music Festival or Summer Camp, but seeing Strings make his late-night TV debut nonetheless felt like a win on the crawling timeline toward the return of live music.
Friday, July 17th, 2020, 6:00 p.m. ET
BottleRock Napa has officially canceled its 2020 event after initially postponing from May to October back in March when the coronavirus cancellations began. The next BottleRock is now slated to take place on May 29–30th, 2021, with 2019 headliners Dave Matthews Band, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Stevie Nicks signed on to perform. The full lineup will be announced at a later date.
LOCKN’ Festival, on the on the other hand, appears to be moving forward with its October date after similarly postponing from June. The festival released a number of updated safety guidelines it would implement for the planned October 2nd–4th at Infinity Downs and Oak Ridge Farm in Arrington, VA. It’s worth noting, however, that the update was clarified “with the understanding that things might change.”
As we move into the summer months, more and more artists are devising ways to perform for their fans without congregating in person. On Friday, Greensky Bluegrass announced an 8-show series of pay-per-view shows with full production from an empty venue set to take place on Friday nights throughout the months of August and September. They join a slew of acts like Billy Strings, Marcus King, SunSquabi, Goose, Twiddle, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, and more in devising creative ways to still perform this summer.
As the cancellations push deeper into the year (and, in the opinions of various industry execs, potentially into 2021 or even 2022), the calls for support for independent venues from congress have grown louder and louder. The state of Oregon seems to be ahead of the curve on this matter, as they recently approved a $50M chunk of their CARES Act funds to be distributed among various venues and arts organizations in the state.
Friday, July 10th, 10:00 p.m. ET
The 2020 edition of Summer Camp Music Festival has officially been canceled. The Chillicothe, IL festival, featuring host bands moe. and Umphrey’s McGee, was originally set to celebrate its 20th anniversary over Memorial Day weekend back in May. In March, the gathering was pushed to the third weekend of August in hopes that the situation would have improved by that time. Now, organizers are throwing in the towel on 2020 and looking toward May 28th—30th, 2021 for their anniversary celebration.
Conversely, In My Elements, an electronic festival/health and wellness retreat at an “undisclosed lakefront summer camp” in Northeastern, PA, is set to begin today. Production company BangOn! has assured attendees and the general public that every abundance of precaution has been taken for the event, capped at 225 tickets. With “two part testing,” concertgoers, staff, and performers were tested for COVID-19 three days before the festival, as well at the front gates of the event. Meanwhile, while inside the grounds, social distancing guidelines will be enforced by “social distancing ambassadors.”
Additionally, Aerosmith has announced the postponement of the band’s 50th anniversary concert at Fenway Park. The show, originally set for September 18th, has now been pushed to September 14th, 2021. In a Facebook post announcing the postponement, the band said:
It’s better to look ahead and prepare than to look back and regret, for the safety of our families, for our crews, for the fans and for the Blue Army. All tickets will be honored for the new date so hold onto yours! Or if you are unable to make it, you’ll be able to request a refund. Ticket holders will be emailed with all details. Until then, stay safe and stay healthy. Big love from the Bad Boys of Boston.
Wednesday, July 8th, 11:00 a.m. ET
The 2020 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony honoring this year’s class of Nine Inch Nails, Depeche Mode, Doobie Brothers, Whitney Houston, Notorious B.I.G. T-Rex, Irving Azoff, and Jon Landau, has been canceled.
An announcement made by the organization on Wednesday reveals the 2020 event, which was initially postponed back on March 12th with the original onset of COVID-19 in North America, will no longer take place at all this year. In its place, the Hall of Fame museum will broadcast an exclusive special about this year’s honorees to air on HBO and HBO Max on November 8th. The virtual induction broadcast will feature the acceptance speeches from the class of 2020, along with interviews with inductees and artists by whom they’ve been influenced, archival content, and more.
The museum also announced the 2021 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will move to the fall with the 36th Induction Ceremony returning to Cleveland.
Fans should head to the museum website for more info.
Friday, July 3rd, 3:00 p.m. ET
As more and more artists adapt to the new drive-in concert trend in order to perform for their fans during the summer of coronavirus, one new venue in the U.K. is approaching social distancing head-on. Announced on Friday, the 2,500-capacity Virgin Money Unity Arena, a new venue specifically designed for social distancing, will open at the Newcastle Racecourse in August.
The racecourse, which has hosted horse races regularly since 1882, has been reconfigured for live concerts with personal, raised platforms for each cluster of guests and strict rules regarding parking, concessions, bathrooms, and more to keep fans safe while attending shows during the ongoing pandemic. In a statement accompanying the announcement, promoter SSD Concerts noted that “several high-profile artists signed up.” Keep an eye out for a full lineup on Tuesday, July 7th.
Wednesday, July 1st, 11 a.m. ET
Austin City Limits has been officially postponed to 2021. The Texas-based, multi-weekend festival was scheduled to take place October 2nd—4th and 9th—11th at Austin’s Zilker Park. Instead, the cross-genre gathering will now take place October 1st—3rd and 8th—10th, 2021. Next year will mark the 20th anniversary of the festival, spawned from the popular PBS concert program.
2020 ticketholders have the option to retain their tickets for next year, and should have received email instructions from organizers on how to request refunds. Visit the Austin City Limits website for more information.
Tuesday, June 30th, 1 p.m. ET
All Broadway theatrical productions will remain on hiatus until next year, as producers are now offering refunds and exchanges for tickets purchased for shows through January 3rd, 2021, Billboard reported on Tuesday. This marks the fourth time Broadway theaters have extended the pause on all shows since the initial shutdown on March 12th, and comes as New York City begins to reopen some businesses while many parts of the country are experiencing a dangerous resurgence in COVID-19 cases.
Thomas Schumacher, the chairman of the board of The Broadway League confirmed,
The alchemy of 1,000 strangers bonding into a single audience fueling each performer on stage and behind the scenes will be possible again when Broadway theatres can safely host full houses. The safety of our cast, crew, orchestra and audience is our highest priority and we look forward to returning to our stages only when it’s safe to do so.
Click here to read the full report.
Monday, June 29th, 4 p.m. ET
Primus has officially postponed its A Tribute To Kings tour for the third time. The tour that will see the nu metal pioneers perform the classic 1977 Rush album at every stop will now take place in 2021 after originally being pushed into the fall due to COVID-19. Bassist Les Claypool summed up the band’s feelings with a post announcing the further delay,
Third time is the charm…we’ve postponed this Tribute to King’s tour twice now. Once because we opted to help send Slayer on their way into retirement and once because mother nature decided to slap us all into isolation with a nasty virus. This time I will get to go out there and get my “Geddy on”. I’ve got my Ricky shined up and have been practicing my Moog licks. 2020 has proven to be one nasty kick to the crotch on many levels. This nation is divided beyond anything I’ve ever seen; from who’s wearing masks or not to who’s treating folks with common dignity…or not. Let’s hope 2021 will resolve us all into some form of unity. As far as touring, it will be nice to be back in the saddle again, see y’all next summer…”Geddy up!”
All 2020 tickets will be honored for the new dates. Ticketholders who are unable to attend the new dates will receive emailed instructions on how to request a refund. For more information click here.
Thursday, June 25th, 1 p.m. ET
The 2020 edition of the Jersey Shore’s annual Sea.Hear.Now Festival which was scheduled to return to Asbury Park, NJ the weekend of September 19th—20th, has been pushed back to instead take place next year on September 18th—19th, 2021.
An announcement shared by festival organizers on Thursday, which includes veteran photographer Danny Clinch, revealed the new dates along with confirming Pearl Jam and The Avett Brothers would both stay on for the 2021 lineup. A number of artists from this year’s lineup are also expected to return in 2021 as well, but the announcement didn’t go into detail.
This year’s festival was set to feature additional performances from The Beach Boys, Patti Smith, Goose, Phoebe Bridgers, Cage The Elephant, Billy Idol, Reignwolf, Gang of Youths, Lord Huron, Dirty Heads, The Growlers, Grouplove, Dr. Dog, The Dirty Knobs with Mike Campbell, Liz Cooper and The Stampede, and more.
Tickets purchased for the 2020 event will be honored next year, and current ticket holders will soon receive an email with information on how to receive a refund.
Thursday, June 25th, 1 p.m. ET
This year’s Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival has been canceled as the latest major live event called off entirely due to the lingering COVID-19 pandemic. The four-day festival originally scheduled to return to Great Stage Park in Manchester, TN earlier this month was initially postponed to the September 24—27th in an act of wishful thinking back in mid-March.
Festival organizers shared a full statement on Thursday confirming the planned return of the long-running festival next summer on June 17th—20th, 2021. The announcement didn’t reveal any info regarding artist programming or a 2021 lineup.
Wednesday, June 24th, 2 p.m. ET
Organizers for The Hog Farm Hangout have updated the postponement of this year’s event to forgo anything in 2020 and return next summer on June 11th—13th, 2021. All tickets purchased for the 2020 festival will be honored next June, and fans who cannot commit that far ahead will be offered a 30-day window to apply for a refund.
Wednesday’s announcement follows the last major update from Hog Farm organizers back when April when the festival was, in wishful thinking, pushed back to the weekend of September 18th—20th, 2020.
The 2021 event is still scheduled to feature performances from The String Cheese Incident (three nights), The Infamous Stringdusters, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, Galactic, Fruition, Holly Bowling, and more.
Head to the festival website for more info.
Wednesday, June 24th, 1 p.m. ET
Organizers for San Francisco’s Outside Lands Music Festival have confirmed the cancelation of the 2020 summer event, and instead are looking ahead to 2021 with next year’s lineup and dates shared on Wednesday. The 2021 edition of Outside Lands will take place at Golden Gate Park on August 6th-8th, 2021, with performances from The Strokes, Lizzo, Tame Impala, Tyler, The Creator, Vampire Weekend, J Balvin, Kehlani, Khruangbin, The Soul Rebels, ZHU, and more.
A statement shared by Outside Land organizers reads,
To Our Outside Lands Community,
We would love nothing more than to be with you this August, listening to our favorite artists in Golden Gate Park and celebrating the best of the Bay Area for our 13th consecutive Outside Lands. After lengthy discussions with local and state health authorities about the impact of COVID-19 both in our community and throughout the world, we believe it is in the best interest of everyone’s health and safety that Outside Lands not be held in 2020.
In what has been a disappointing year for concertgoers and the music industry alike, Outside Lands is looking to the future. We all miss the much-needed community and positivity that comes with our annual celebration in San Francisco and we look forward to bringing the music back in 2021. We can’t wait to be back in Golden Gate Park with you, enjoying the best in music, food, beer, wine, art, cannabis and more for what we know will be our best year yet.
The health and safety of the Outside Lands and San Francisco communities have always been and will continue to be our top priority. We are in close contact with local and state officials, working together to create the safest possible environment for you, our fans.
Head to the festival website for more info and 2021 ticket details.
Wednesday, June 17th, 3 p.m. ET
Atlanta’s Shaky Knees Festival, which was originally scheduled to return for its eighth year last month before being rescheduled to October, will now no longer take place at all in 2020, event organizers announced on Wednesday afternoon. The rock-focused festival, which was at first optimistically pushed back from May to October, was set to feature performances from The Black Keys, The Strokes, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Portugal. The Man, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, and more.
A statement shared by Shaky Knees organizers reads,
Shaky Knees Music Festival will not take place in 2020. While we are disappointed to share this news, the health and safety of our fans, artists, partners, staff and community remains our top priority. Our gratitude goes out to the artists and fans who planned to join us this year, and we thank you all for your understanding.
Tickets purchased directly through the festival will be automatically refunded to the original account at point of purchase in as little as 30 business days. If you previously requested a refund, your refund is still being processed. We can’t wait to see you in 2021!
There was no mention as to what next year’s lineup might be compared to the planned 2020 lineup with the cancelation announcement. Head to the event website for more info. Click here to revisit Live For Live Music’s on-site coverage of Shaky Knees Festival in 2019.
Wednesday, June 17th, 10 a.m. ET
Chicago’s Riot Fest will not take place in 2020 as event organizers confirmed they are now focusing their efforts ahead to 2021, an announcement shared on Wednesday morning festival confirmed.
In addition to confirming the dates for next year’s iteration of the annual punk and alt-rock festival for September 16th-19th, 2021 at Chicago’s Douglas Park, organizers also shared the first wave of artists set to perform next fall including My Chemical Romance, The Smashing Pumpkins, Pixies, Run The Jewels, Taking Back Sunday, Dirty Heads, Sublime with Rome, and more. An appropriately-titled “second wave a “final wave” of artists for the 2021 lineup will be revealed in the coming months.
Tuesday, June 16th, 5 p.m. ET
Widespread Panic has announced the postponement of the band’s run of shows in Napa, CA set for September 4th—6th. That three-night run at Oxbow RiverStage will now take place September 3rd—5th, 2021. In the band’s announcement, Widespread Panic assured fans that tickets purchased for the original dates will be honored at the corresponding rescheduled shows.
This comes just days after the band postponed its three-night run in Austin, TX, yet again. Those concerts were originally slated for June 4th—6th and were pushed to July 23rd—25th back in April. Now, as the live music industry begins to take its first breath of air with socially distanced drive-in concerts, the band has pushed the Austin run of shows to January 21st—23rd, 2021. Once again, tickets purchased for the original dates will be honored at the rescheduled ones. Meanwhile, the band’s sold out three-night run in Chicago, originally rescheduled from April 2nd—4th, is still set to occur August 20th—22nd.
Tuesday, June 16th, 10 a.m. ET
Colorado Governor Jared Polis announced at a press conference on Monday that the state will allow outdoor concerts to resume beginning on Thursday, June 18th. The guidelines will allow no more than 100 people at even the largest venues over 11,500 square feet, but the development nonetheless marks another bold step toward normalcy following the coronavirus shutdown of all live events.
Even as states like Colorado, Ohio, and others begin to gradually reopen the event economy, the threat of COVID-19 remains real throughout the country. In Miami, FL, the city has decided not to move into Phase 2 of the state’s reopening plan after a statewide spike in cases, even as Governor Ron DeSantis welcomed the Republican National Convention in Jacksonville last week and waved the green flag at the Dixie Vodka 400 NASCAR Cup Series in Homestead.
Wednesday, June 10th, 10 a.m. ET
Coachella Valley Musc and Arts Festival won’t be taking place this fall after all, according to a new report shared by Billboard on Tuesday.
According to the report, event organizers are still weighing the risk factors to determine if Coachella could return at limited-capacity next April or possibly even October 2021 at full capacity. Sources at AEG also informed Billboard that Coachella could return at 60% attendance capacity by next April, although there’s been no official decision made just yet.
The major pop music festival was pushed back to October upon the arrival of COVID-19 back in March. Its postponed dates of October 9th–11th and October 16th-18th don’t appear likely after AEG announced massive staff cuts earlier this week as 45,000 full-time employees were reportedly furloughed or laid off and another 300,000—400,000 part-time and freelance employees were also let go.
“It is clear now that live events with fans will not resume for many months and likely not until sometime in 2021,” AEG CEO Dan Beckerman wrote to employees in a memo. “When we are able to reopen, it will take time until we see our fans, partners and sponsors fully return. This means that our revenues will continue to be significantly impacted for an extended period.”
Tuesday, June 9th, 1:30 p.m. ET
Lollapalooza has officially postponed this year’s event in Chicago’s Grant Park to 2021. The festival, originally slated for July 30th—August 2nd, was one of the last remaining hold outs of the summer festivals. The large scale gathering also marks the final megafestival of the summer to be rescheduled, following others such as Coachella and Bonnaroo. Organizers announced that instead of the physical gathering, the weekend originally slated for Lollapalooza will host a digital festival, complete with archival footage from past events as well as new footage from concerts around Chicago and beyond.
Tuesday, June 9th, 10 a.m. ET
A survey of over 500 epidemiologists appearing in The New York Times shows that 64 percent of respondents would be comfortable going to a sporting event, concert, or play in a year or more. This survey comes several months after The New York Times Magazine published a roundtable discussion with bioethicists discussing a time table for public gatherings. In that roundtable, bioethicist Zeke Emmanuel was quoted as saying that concerts would likely not return until fall 2021 at the earliest. This new survey shows that the clock counting down to the return of concerts is moving in the right direction as the economy slowly reopens across the country.
Monday, June 8th, 5 p.m. ET
Even as venues across the country and around the globe remain closed, the industry as a whole has begun taking important steps. While brick and mortar venues still won’t be open for some time, there are some musical entrepreneurs looking to provide immediate solutions.
Today, organizers of the Shangri-La area at the U.K.’s Glastonbury announced the launch of the virtual reality festival Lost Horizon. As opposed to previous “virtual festivals” like Live From Out There or Quarantine Comes Alive, Lost Horizon will be a fully immersive experience accessible through virtual reality headsets like HTC Vive, Valve, Oculus Rift, and Oculus Quest. In addition to emerging technology, the festival has also drawn such headliners as Fatboy Slim, Carl Cox, Skream, and more for the festival, taking place July 3rd—4th.
That wasn’t all that happened on the digital front, as Trey Anastasio Band saxophonist James Casey launched Aux Chord: A Live Streaming Venue. This new “digital venue” promises to bring an added emphasis on video and audio quality not currently available to artists using Facebook Live or YouTube. Also announced today was a pair of Umhprey’s McGee live streams dubbed “Live In The Boondocks“. These streams will feature all six band members playing together, live, at Boondock Studios. This marks the first group of UM’s strata to reconvene for an honest-to-goodness live stream.
Lastly, Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit announced a preliminary list of rescheduled tour dates for 2021. This list of 20 North American tour dates pales in comparison to the mammoth international tour that the Americana outfit announced in February, however it marks a light at the end of the tunnel. With this announcement, a band as prominent as Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit have given fans their best guess at when we will all be reunited.
Friday, June 5th, 3 p.m. ET
Aerosmith was hoping to celebrate their 50th anniversary this year with a run of international concerts scheduled from May 29th-July 15th, but an announcement shared by the rock band on Friday morning confirms almost all shows as part of their 2020 European tour have been postponed to 2021.
A statement shared to the band’s social media pages on Friday morning reads,
Aerosmith is and always will be a band for the fans, of the fans and by the fans. It is for this reason that we have made the decision to reschedule our European Tour to Summer 2021, in an effort to keep the focus on the health and well-being of everyone during this unprecedented time. Please hold on to your tickets as they will be honored for the new dates listed below. If you are a ticket holder, your point of purchase will be in contact directly with further details.
Friday, June 5th, 10 a.m. ET
TOOL has canceled all of their 2020 tour dates and the hard rock band has confirmed they have no plans to try and reschedule them for the rest of this year or even into 2021. An announcement shared to the band’s Facebook on Thursday reveals that while they’ve attempted to determine whether pushing their spring and summer 2020 dates back to the upcoming fall months is possible due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, it just doesn’t seem worth the effort with so much up in the air heading into June.
A statement shared to TOOL’s social media page on Thursday reads,
When we played what would be our final show of 2020, March 11 at Portland’s Moda Center, we believed we would be back on the road sometime this Fall. As we worked towards that goal we’ve come to realize that there is absolutely no certainty in re-scheduling dates for this Fall or 2021. State and local ordinances vary widely and no one can predict when high capacity events will safely return.
At the same time that we were working to reschedule this tour, we read your messages. Messages of job losses, illness, emotional and financial pain. We could continue to postpone or reschedule dates for some time into 2021 but ethically, we do not think this is the right course of action. In our opinion, tying up our fans’ money for months, if not a full year, is unfair. With that in mind, we have made the very difficult decision to cancel the tour so we can help support the people who have supported us for years.
The 30 total dates which have been outright canceled include the shows which were supposed to have taken place in North America throughout the spring dating back to March 12th in Eugene, OR, and up through June 23rd in San Francisco.
Thursday, June 4th, 12 p.m. ET
On Thursday, organizers for Summerfest Milwaukee announced the cancellation of the 2020 event. Milwaukee, WI’s annual summertime festival was originally scheduled for late June/early July but was postponed to early September at the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak back in March.
A statement from Milwaukee World Festival Inc. President & CEO Don Smiley shared with Thursday’s announcement reads,
After careful, diligent, and thoughtful consideration and out of an abundance of caution for the health and safety of our community – including artists, fans, vendors, participants and staff – Summerfest presented by American Family Insurance will not take place in September 2020, as previously announced. It is our honor to be responsible for such a storied tradition. With five decades of festivals, countless legendary performances and millions of memories, Milwaukee World Festival, Inc. explored numerous options to ensure the Summerfest tradition could continue in 2020, in a safe and healthy manner.
Yet, given the information available today, and the uncertainty surrounding very large gatherings, we cannot in good conscience proceed with the festival this year. The immediate future presents multiple levels of risk for our fans, and we choose the side of safety.
Refunds on Summerfest 2020 tickets purchased directly through the event website or Ticketmaster are now available. Information regarding how to get a refund on festival admission tickets, as well as information regarding concert tickets for the American Family Insurance Amphitheater or the BMO Harris Pavilion can be found at Summerfest.com.
Thursday, June 4th, 10 a.m. ET
With nearly all major music festivals and concert tours originally planned for summer 2020 either canceled or postponed heading into June, events like the smaller, regional-based Summer Jam Camp Out is still set to go on at the Thomas Point Beach & Campground in Brunswick, ME on July 3rd–5th. The multi-day music event will feature performances from Kung Fu in addition to Higher Education, Swimmer, Peak, Skull & Roses, Rebel Alliance, Leon Trout, Immortal Jellyfish, and more. The event is also set to feature a full disc golf tournament on the campgrounds’ 9 hole course.
A statement shared by festival organizers on May 26th reads,
Summer Jam Camp Out 2020 is moving forward. We take the safety of our staff, patrons, & volunteers very seriously. There are limited number of tickets available for this event. We will be spreading people out on the 80+ acre campground. We will be following any and all guidelines set forth by the state and beyond! We are taking extra measures and making plans to insure your safety. We have had some bands cancel due to the Corona virus and we respect that choice. We have signed equal bands as replacements,we also added more TBA. The show will go on! We will be announcing a few slight line up changes within the next couple of days if not sooner..! Thank you for your patience!
This update comes as the state’s latest Executive Order only eases the restrictions on certain gatherings from 10 to 50 people.
Wednesday, June 3rd, 4:00 p.m. ET
As socially-distanced concerts begin taking place with mixed reactions in states like Arkansas, Florida now looks to be one of the latest U.S. states to begin welcoming fans and paying customers back into places of public business in hopes of restarting local economies.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has given businesses including bars, movie theaters, concert venues in 64 counties the green light to reopen this Friday (June 5th) as part of the state’s “Phase 2” of the reopening process. The Executive Order, however, does not apply to Florida’s three hardest-hit counties which include Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach. Concert venues, along with movie theaters and bowling alleys, will be allowed to reopen at 50 percent capacity and must also abide by social distancing restrictions. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continues to advise businesses and the public to avoid being part of groups larger than 50.
“The virus isn’t gone,” DeSantis mentioned with Wednesday’s announcement. “I think it’s really really important to continue to stress for people 65 or older … and/or with underlying medical conditions, [that they] are strongly encouraged to avoid crowds and to take measures to limit the risk of exposure.”
Monday, June 1st, 3:30 p.m. ET
Mötley Crüe, Def Leppard, Poison, and Joan Jett have postponed The Stadium Tour, which was originally set to take place in venues across the United States beginning on June 18th at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, FL. In a joint statement posted to Mötley Crüe’s social media pages, the bands explained that the stadium tour will be moved to the summer of 2021.
“We wanted to continue to communicate with our fans and update you with valid information as it becomes available. The official decision has been made to move all 2020 North American Stadium Tour dates into the summer of 2021,” the statement read.
While new dates have yet to be made available, the statement promises that more information will follow. Furthermore, all tickets will be honored for the postponed shows and refund information “will be made available shortly.”
Read the full statement below and head to Mötley Crüe’s website for more information.
— Mötley Crüe (@MotleyCrue) June 1, 2020
Wednesday, May 27th. 1:00 p.m. ET
Organizers at The Greek Theatre in Los Angeles, CA have canceled the entire season’s worth of performances for the first time in 90 years as the COVID-19 pandemic continues its hold on the live events industry heading into the summer months and beyond.
Announced on Tuesday, The Greek Theatre’s cancellation of its entire 2020 season aligns with State, County, and City mass gathering guidelines for COVID-19 prevention. The announcement comes just weeks after the nearby Hollywood Bowl canceled its own 2020 season for the first time in 98 years.
Fans should note that while the 2020 season will not take place as planned, not all of the scheduled concerts have been outright canceled, as some have been postponed and rescheduled with new confirmed dates.
Head to the official venue website for more info on the 2020 season’s cancelation.
Monday, May 25th. 5:00 p.m. ET
As cities around the country gradually start to reopen, small, socially distant live performances are beginning to pick back up. Of note, Nashville, TN—the music city—has entered phase two of its reopening plan, which allows for certain live performances to resume with social distancing measures in place.
According to the “Restaurants & Bars Serving Food” section official reopening roadmap for the city of Nashville, phase two stipulates that “Live entertainment [is] allowed with proper social distancing—no more than 2 performers at one time, dance floors remain closed.” While it opens the possibility for live shows, phase two of Nashville’s reopening roadmap stipulates that bar areas in the newly reopened performance spaces must remain closed. Venues also are required to open and 75% capacity (up from 50% capacity during phase one) and clean all surfaces after every use, while all employees must wear masks and be screened daily for coronavirus symptoms.
Of note, the plan separates “Restaurants & Bars Serving Food” and “Socially-Driven Businesses” (like bars, clubs, karaoke bars, tours, and “live entertainment”) into separate categories. While phase two allows for live performances to begin under the aforementioned circumstances at “Restaurants & Bars Serving Food”, “Socially-Driven Businesses” will remain closed during phase two.
Assuming the city can continue to maintain “positive improvement” or stability in the deciding metrics for the next 14 days, phase three will begin on Monday, June 8th. Phase three will allow “Restaurants & Bars Serving Food” to reopen at full capacity with bar areas open at 50% capacity, while “Socially-Driven Businesses” will be allowed to re-open at 50% capacity. The plan notes, however, that if metrics indicate a negative trend over the next two weeks, the city will return to phase two. For more information, head here.
Monday, May 25th, 10:30 a.m. ET
Spafford played in front of a live audience during a performance at Mesa, AZ’s Digital Drive-In on Sunday night. Not a live stream from home or a video of all the members spliced together, but an honest-to-goodness live, ticketed performance with an audience. That audience may have been confined to their cars and the areas immediately surrounding said cars, but this performance marks the first baby steps toward normalcy for the music industry.
While Spafford is certainly not the first act to think of this idea, as DJ Marc Rebillet announced an entire drive-in tour earlier this month, they have shown that the idea is viable both economically and medically. Even as traditional concerts and festivals are canceled through the summer, Spafford and other like-minded acts are showing that there is a path forward. It may be the path less traveled, but it will get us there nonetheless.
Monday, May 25th, 9:00 a.m. ET
In a new feature, The New York Times spoke to the movers and shakers in every corner of the live event industry about the potential fate of events in late 2020. While people had different things to say about the topic, the theme was the same across the board and fell in line with what we’ve been finding over the last few weeks in our Cancellation Tracker: Most of them are now looking past 2020 and into next year.
The article, “The Fall of Autumn: Live Performance Producers Are Giving Up on 2020,” checks in with everyone from orchestra producers to theater impresarios to independent venues to executives from promotion giants like Live Nation and AEG.
Explained Henry Timms, president of New York’s iconic Lincoln Center, “It’s very hard right now to see a path to anything which looks like the traditional fall season. Absent some material change, from a medical perspective, in the world at large.”
This generally-accepted notion marks a start change from the beginning of the lockdowns, when a slew of spring and early summer festivals pushed their dates to later in the year. Paul Tollett, the promoter for large-scale events like Coachella, one of the first major 2020 festivals to postpone until the fall, declined to comment for the NYT piece.
Some of the entities reached for comment in the piece provided some insight into what they may do in place of “regular” live shows. “It’s going to be organizations with 50 seats or 25 seats that will be innovating,” said Molly Smith, the artistic director of Arena Stage in Washington. “That’s how we’re going to learn.”
The piece continued, “As venues do open, expect fewer intermissions, digital-only ticketing, and more rules about entering and exiting. ‘The airline industry has become adept at loading people by zones,’ said Hillary J. Hart, executive director of Houston’s Theater Under the Stars. “Could you do that in a theater?”
While some organizations are experimenting with reduced-capacity, socially distant events, others see them as an impossibility for reasons both economic to philosophical. “An audience that is scattered that much isn’t an audience, it’s disassociated observers,” said Michael Ritchie, artistic director at the Center Theater Group.
In the end, the “when” aspect of the return to relative normalcy in the world of live events may depend greatly on public opinion—when will audiences feel comfortable with going to shows once again? The Times noted that there are multiple ongoing social studies into the conditions under which fans would willing to return, and initial reports have found “considerable wariness.”
Appropriately, the feature ends on an ambiguous note. The short of all this: Nobody knows. “With all that uncertainty, large organizations are drafting plans for a variety of scenarios, even as most of them are now focusing on resumption early next year,” the piece notes. “More optimistic: mount a show by Thanksgiving to capture at least some holiday revenue. More pessimistic: cancel the entire season and start fresh next summer.”
“There’s a balancing act,” said Christopher Ashley, the artistic director at San Diego’s La Jolla Playhouse, “between trying to stay hopeful and being realistic.” Read the full New York Times feature here.
Wednesday, May 20th. 5:00 p.m. ET
As the usual “summer tour season” gets closer and closer, large-scale engagements continue to set their sights on 2021 rather than trying to navigate the minefield that is 2020. Wednesday brought official tour cancellations/postponements from Tedeschi Trucks Band, Deftones, James Taylor and Jackson Browne, and Barenaked Ladies, to name a few.
With no end to the concert shutdown in sight, many festivals are beginning to launch virtual events instead. Wednesday brought the announcement of Quarantine Comes Alive, modeled after events like Denver Comes Alive and Brooklyn Comes Alive (which was set to take place in late March before COVID-19 forced its postponement until 2021). The full-day virtual music marathon will predominantly feature new “live” performances captured during the ongoing lockdown by 60+ artists. Proceeds from Quarantine Comes Alive will be split between the participating artists and the comprehensive PLUS1 COVID-19 Relief Fund. For more information about Quarantine Comes Alive, head here.
Tuesday, May 19th, 2:00 p.m. ET
Here’s something we haven’t reported in a while: An actual concert at an actual theater with an actual audience took place last night, Monday, May 18th. As previously reported in this piece, Travis McCready performed a show for a significantly-reduced audience at Arkansas theater, TempleLive. Initially scheduled to take place on May 15th—prior to the start of the state’s reopening process for indoor concert venues—TempleLive was hit with a cease and desist order over the highly-publicized first ticketed indoor show since the lockdown began. TempleLive and McCready were able to move their show to May 18th, the day venues were allowed to begin reopening, and the show went ahead as planned with social distancing protocols in place. Check out some photos of the socially distant show here.
Tuesday, May 19th, 10:00 a.m. ET
One of the highest-profile tours of the now-decimated summer 2020 concert season has finally thrown in the towel. The HELLA MEGA stadium tour featuring Weezer, Green Day, and Fall Out Boy has been postponed until 2021. New dates have yet to be announced, though the bands noted that the 2021 dates will take place at the same venues initially scheduled for 2021. For more details, head here.
Monday, May 18th, 4:00 p.m. ET
As venues both large and small sit empty, their operators are getting increasingly creative in order to drive business to the spaces in one way or another.
Major League ballparks have started rolling out different kinds of socially distant programming as both games and regular concerts continue to be ruled out. Last week, a drive-in Concert In Your Car series at the Texas Rangers‘ Globe Life Park in Arlington, TX was announced. A similar drive-in-style series is reportedly in the works at New York’s Yankee Stadium. Up in Boston, the Red Sox‘s Fenway Park will host an upcoming performance by Dropkick Murphys (with help from Bruce Springsteen) which will air via live stream, making it the first time a band has ever played a full show in an empty sports stadium.
Smaller venues are looking outside the normal concert sphere to stay afloat. The Pabst Theater Group, the company that owns Milwaukee, WI venues like The Riverside Theater, The Pabst Theater, and Turner Hall Ballroom, is now offering “Elopement” packages to couples whose weddings have been affected by the pandemic, offering a better-than-your-front-porch alternative for small (no more than ten people) wedding parties. For more information, head here.
Friday, May 15th, 2:30 p.m. ET
Resonance Music & Arts Festival has been postponed to 2021. The gathering was set for September 17th—20th at Cooper’s Lake in Slippery Rock, PA, making it one of the furthest festivals to be canceled. Considering how many other festivals have rescheduled for August/September, the Resonance postponement could prove those movements futile.
In a lengthy post to the event’s Facebook page, organizers laid out an incentive for fans to hang onto their tickets. Earlier this year, the festival offered a Buy One Get One free promotion for a limited time. Not only will both of those tickets be valid for next year, but any ticketholder who missed out on that sale and decides he/she wants to hold onto said ticket for 2021 will receive a free ticket in honor of his/her commitment.
Additionally, a form to request a refund will be made available on Sunday, May 17th. Visit Resonance’s Facebook page for more information and to see the full post.
Thursday, May 14th, 7:00 p.m. ET
With most of the regular touring and concert industry now officially canceled for the foreseeable future, we’re seeing bands start to adapt their models in order to play live shows. From crowdless, concept “tours” by bands like Twiddle and SunSquabi to Pigeons Playing Ping Pong‘s multi-set Homefest to Goose‘s virtual Bingo Tour to Spafford‘s late-May drive-in show, bands are starting to find new ways to perform for their fans now, even while regular mass gatherings remain out of the question.
Thursday, May 14th, 9:00 a.m. ET
Just hours after reports began to circulate informing Los Angeles residents that the city’s stay-at-home orders are fully expected to be extended for the next three months into the summer, organizers at the Hollywood Bowl in the Hollywood Hills area of Los Angeles announced the cancellation of all upcoming LA Phil-presented concerts for the entire 2020 season. The landmark move marks the first time in 98 years that the popular outdoor amphitheater has canceled an entire season.
The venue is operated by non-profit Los Angeles Philharmonic Assn, which has cited “A lack of resolution on the coronavirus crisis” as the reason for the full-season cancellation. The organization will also furlough 25% of its full-time non-union workforce, all members of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra (through Sept. 30, 2020), and will let go of all Hollywood Bowl’s seasonal employees. Fans should click here to learn more about the 2020 cancelation, and how to donate money to assist the employees of the non-profit organization during the lack of seasonal income.
Wednesday, May 13th, 5:00 p.m. ET
Cancellations continued today as Bob Dylan called off his 2020 tour. Despite continued tour cancellations, inventive solutions to the ongoing mass gathering issue continue to pop up. The drive-in-style Concert From Your Car series is now set to take place at the Texas Rangers‘ Globe Life Park in Arlington, TX in June and smaller venues in the South like Charleston Pour House are beginning to open for smaller shows with strict distancing guidelines in place.
While artists and promoters continue to pivot to make unusual live events happen, however, not all of their efforts are turning out successfully. On Tuesday, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson announced that the state Department of Health will issue a cease and desist order to stop Fort Smith theater TempleLive from going through with their highly-publicized, socially-distanced Travis McCready show this Friday.
Tuesday, May 12th, 12:00 p.m. ET
Organizers for Colorado’s Beanstalk Music Festival has made an interesting move with regard to their scheduled June event. Rather than canceling the festival due to the ongoing pandemic, Beanstalk will now take place on the same weekend as a drive-in-style event at Fort Collins, CO’s Holiday Twin Drive-In Theater. Beanstalk: At The Drive-In will adhere to state social distancing guidelines in an effort to provide fans with the live music experience they crave while keeping their health and safety in mind. For more information on the re-tooled Beanstalk: At The Drive-In festival, head here.
While the June dates of the event keep it in line with the overall cancellation threshold, this is the first time we’ve seen an event pivot to the increasingly popular drive-in model rather than canceling or postponing. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. If it’s a success, you can look for more events to explore this route.
Tuesday, May 12th, 10:00 a.m. ET
moe. has announced the cancellation of its 2020 summer tour. A post from the band on social media notes that the tour will be moved to 2021,
“We are saddened to announce, due to the ongoing pandemic, our 2020 summer tour has been rescheduled to the summer of 2021. This decision is made with the health, safety, and well-being of our famoe.ly as the top priority. Previously purchased tickets will be honored for these rescheduled dates. Please contact the initial point of purchase for specific information about refunds.”
This comes just one day after the postponement of The Peach Music Festival, where moe. was due to perform. In addition to Peach, eight other shows scheduled this summer have been moved to 2021. See the band’s post for a full list of dates.
Tuesday, May 12th, 9:00 a.m. ET
The Black Keys have officially canceled their 2020 summer tour. As the announcement from the band notes,
“We are very disappointed to let you know the US ‘Let’s Rock’ Summer tour is no longer happening. We were looking forward to seeing you all out there, but the health and safety of our fans and crew has to take priority. We hope to see you all soon. Please stay safe.”
The 35-date tour was set to run from early July through early September and feature support on select dates from Gary Clark Jr., The Marcus King Band, Yola, and more. Information regarding refunds will be emailed to ticketholders directly.
Monday, May 11th, 11:00 a.m. ET
Barcelona, Spain’s annual Primavera Sound festival has been officially postponed to 2021. The 20th-anniversary event, originally set to take place in early June, was initially postponed to August 26th–30th, 2021.
While the initial late-March postponement of the event seemed to indicate that organizers were betting on a better outlook come late-summer, this second postponement reflects how much the pandemic picture has evolved in just over a month. At this point, most major festivals and tours are looking past 2020 and setting hopeful sights on 2021. We wouldn’t be surprised if other early-2020 festivals initially rescheduled to later this year start to follow suit. Read Primavera Sound’s official announcement here.
Monday, May 11th, 9:30 a.m. ET
The Peach Music Festival, originally scheduled to take place on July 4th weekend at Scranton, PA’s Montage Mountain, has been officially rescheduled to Independence Day Weekend 2021. The announcement from organizers notes that the festival’s headliners—Oysterhead, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, and The String Cheese Incident—will be on the 2021 lineup. The statement also notes that the 2021 event will feature “a very similar lineup to this year with some tasty additions, special sets & surprises mixed in.”
This postponement falls in line with the current threshold of cancellations, as The Peach was one of the last summer festivals to have not changed its date or canceled its event in the face of the ongoing pandemic.
The delay in rescheduling, however, likely had something to do with getting ducks in a row for a special 2021 announcement to help ease the sting of no Peach in 2020: Ticket-buyers who hold on to their 2020 passes for 2021 will be invited to a special additional day on music on Wednesday, June 30th, 2021, the day before the festival starts in earnest on July 1st.
The Disco Biscuits’ Camp Bisco, another Live Nation festival originally set to take place at Montage Mountain the weekend after The Peach, announced a similar 2020–2021 postponement plan on Monday. The 2021 edition of Camp Bisco, now scheduled for July 8th–10th, 2021, will also feature a special Wednesday pre-party on July 7th, 2021 for 2020 ticketholders who hold onto their passes for next year.
While festival cancellations and one-year deferments are nothing new in 2020, this added musical incentive for fans to hold on to their tickets is something we haven’t seen until now. It seems like an effective strategy to keep money in the festival accounts and help prepare for next year, and we wouldn’t be surprised if we see more festivals employ this approach as we move forward.
Friday, May 8th, 12:00 p.m. ET
The 2020 edition of Snowshoe, WV’s 4848 Festival, originally scheduled to take place from July 9th–11th, 2020 has been postponed until July 8th–10th, 2021. The 2020 edition of the festival was set to feature Greensky Bluegrass, Grace Potter, Billy Strings, and more. For information on refunds, head here.
This postponement falls in line with many of the festival announcements we’ve seen in the last week or two. Virtually all large-scale events in the month of July have already been postponed or canceled, but while many of the festivals that made the call on the earlier side chose to reschedule to later in 2020, we’re now seeing most look past this year altogether.
Thursday, May 7th, 10:00 a.m. ET
David Crosby has announced the postponement of his spring/summer run of shows with The Sky Trails Band, which was scheduled to begin on May 14th and continue until June 21st.
A statement shared to Crosby’s website on Wednesday afternoon reads, “It is with great regret that we have to postpone our upcoming tour due to the effects of the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic. The safety and wellbeing of the fans is our paramount concern and with his in mind, we had to take this decision. We are already in the process of rescheduling all these shows and we should have news re this very soon.”
Tickets purchased for the now-postponed spring performances will be honored at the rescheduled dates, which will be confirmed and announced in the coming weeks.
Wednesday, May 6th, 2:00 p.m. ET
Organizers at Suwannee Hulaween remain optimistic that the 2020 edition of the annual music event will indeed take place at the Spirit of Suwannee Park in Live Oak, FL this fall on October 29th-November 1st.
A statement shared by Hulaween organizers on Wednesday reads, “We are following the COVID-19 epidemic with you as it unfolds. We continually gather input from federal, state, and Suwannee county health authorities … There are too many unknown variables to place tickets on sale for Hulaween at this time. That said, we have reserved October 29-November1, 2020, at our home, The Spirit of The Suwannee Music Park. We will continue to keep you updated as information becomes available.”
Hulaween isn’t alone in their optimistic views of what lies ahead for the live music industry. Organizers for events including Coachella, Bonnaroo, and Summer Camp Music Festival are also hoping that the severity of the pandemic will lessen over summer as they’ve also pushed their own 2020 festivals back to the coming fall months. The 2020 edition of Suwannee Rising, also scheduled to take place at Spirit of the Suwannee Park back on April 16th–18th, was officially canceled back in March.
Wednesday, May 6th, 12:00 p.m. ET
The 2020 edition of Pitchfork Music Festival, originally set to take place in Chicago in mid-July, has been canceled. The festival’s 15th-anniversary event was set to feature performances by Run The Jewels, The National, Thundercat, and more.
According to the cancellation announcement, ticketholders will receive emails with refund options. The statement also notes that organizers will continue to plan the 2021 edition of Pitchfork Music Festival “if the public health situation allows it.”
At this point, the cancellation of a festival scheduled for this summer is unsurprising, but it’s worth noting that this is one of the first cases in which a festival expressed doubts about next year, as well. As 2020 goes on, it’s likely that events in 2021 will eventually be assessed with the same caution as events in 2020.
Tuesday, May 5th, 4:00 p.m. ET
As states begin to loosen lockdown restrictions, we’re seeing artists, promoters, and venues scramble to meet social distancing guidelines and still host live shows.
The Governor of Missouri recently gave the OK for live music events to move forward so long as they abide by social distancing regulations. In Arkansas, Fort Smith theater TempleLive has made significant updates to the venue to allow them to schedule a socially-distanced Travis McCready show on May 15th with drastically limited capacity and other restrictions in place. For more information, head here.
There’s also the growing “drive-in show” concept, modeled after drive-in movies in observance of social distancing. These drive-in shows have already gone on successfully in various European cities, and American acts (like Marc Rebillet) are already following suit.
Tuesday, May 5th, 12:15 p.m. ET
Resonance Music & Arts Festival made a post on social media today acknowledging Pennsylvania’s indefinite closure of statewide campgrounds. Accordingly, the festival’s new home at Cooper’s Lake in Slippery Rock, PA has postponed all of its events throughout summer 2020.
The event’s organizers stated that the exact timetable on these closures is still unknown, and that they are working with officials to find the best, and safest, solution possible. The festival is not canceled outright, but its status is becoming more questionable. Currently slated for September 17th—20th, it would be among the latest U.S. festivals to be canceled for 2020. Given that it ends just two days before the fall equinox, many festivalgoers looked to it as the safety net after a canceled summer. It appears that this may not be the case and, if Resonance is ultimately canceled, would mark a major movement of the metaphorical line in the sand for mass gatherings.
Tuesday, May 5th, 9:30 a.m. ET
The 2020 edition of Canadian Music Week in Toronto, Ontario has been canceled. Canada’s largest music conference and festival was initially scheduled to take place from May 20th–22nd. When the pandemic hit in March, the event was rescheduled for September 9th–11th. Now, organizers are abandoning the rescheduled date and looking toward next year instead.
This is likely something we’ll see a lot of in the coming weeks. At the beginning of this crisis, events in March/April/May looked toward later in the year, rescheduling events for the fall in hopes that the situation would have played out by then. Now, more and more, we’re seeing artists and promoters abandon plans for 2020 entirely as we’re seemingly no closer to the light at the end of the tunnel now than we were when this all started. What a difference a few weeks can make…
Monday, May 4th, 4:15 p.m. ET
Marc Rebillet has announced the Drive-In Concert Tour, which is scheduled to take place this summer, throughout June and July.
Presented by HOTBOX, the tour will kick off in Charlotte, NC on June 11th before heading to Kansas City, KS (6/18); Tulsa, OK (6/20); Fort Worth, TX (6/25, 6/26); and Houston, TX (7/2, 7/3), with additional dates to be announced. Rebillet ensured that he and his team worked hard to plan the tour with the safety and well-being of concert-goers in mind. All patrons will be expected to follow strict social distancing guidelines.
As concerts continue to be on hold, several countries have looked to drive-in movie theaters as an alternate live event model. Just last week, musicians in Denmark and Lithuania performed at drive-in theaters with great success. The idea has sparked optimism in live events promoters and musicians alike. Live Nation President/CEO Michael Rapino has even tweeted about the idea several times, and this Rebillet announcement seems like it could be the first of many to come in 2020.
Monday, May 4th, 4:00 p.m. ET
Dave Matthews Band has announced the rescheduling of its summer tour. The three-month run of shows in arenas and amphitheaters across the United States and Canada will now take place in 2021.
The band assured fans that every date will be rescheduled for the same time period next year, along with some new ones. The band added 10 new stops to the tour in Ontario, New Jersey, Florida, Texas, Missouri, Kansas, and Colorado in an effort to help make it up to fans. Now, Dave Matthews Band’s summer tour will stretch from June to October 2021.
Additionally, Journey has also been forced to cancel its summer tour alongside The Pretenders. The statement from the band’s management comes as more and more large, outdoor summer tours are forced to cancel. The band made no reference to rescheduled dates, and is immediately directing fans to contact Live Nation for refunds.
Monday, May 4th, 10:00 a.m. ET
After initially moving their Hotel California Tour to the fall of 2020, the Eagles have rescheduled the string of dates for September and October 2021 due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The tour will see Don Henley, Joe Walsh, Timothy B. Schmit, Deacon Frey, and Vince Gill kick things off at Denver, CO’s Pepsi Center on September 16th, 2021, playing the entire Hotel California album in full, among other hits. After another show at the Pepsi Center (9/18), and a single show in Dallas, TX (9/21), the Eagles will head to Phoenix, AZ (9/24, 9/25); St. Paul, MN (10/1, 10/2); Los Angeles, CA (10/15, 10/16, 10/19); and San Fransisco, CA (10/22, 10/23).
“Fans with tickets to the previously announced 2020 dates are encouraged to hold on to their tickets as they will be honored for the new dates,” said a post to the band’s Facebook. “If you are unable to attend the new date, you will be able to request a refund” at the Eagles’ website.
This announcement marks the first large-scale tour to reschedule previously postponed dates until 2021. While the possibility of live events occurring in 2020 remains, it seems as though all larger concerts will start to move to 2021.
Sunday, May 3rd, 1:20 p.m. ET
Primus has announced the postponement of their planned A Tribute to Kings Tour, which would have seen the veteran rock band pay tribute to RUSH with a run of shows throughout the summer beginning on May 26th in Irving, TX.
A statement shared to the band’s Facebook page on Friday reads,
The upcoming “Primus: A Tribute To Kings” tour is being rescheduled. Primus has been looking forward to celebrating this legendary Rush album, but want to ensure everyone’s health and safety is not at risk. New dates are being worked on at this time and information will become available the moment it’s able to be shared. Hang onto your tickets as they will be valid for the new dates. A majority of the shows will offer refunds when the new dates are announced or after 60 days if it takes extra time to find new dates. Please reach out to your original point of purchase with questions regarding refund policies and any other ticket inquiries. Thank you for your understanding and support during this unprecedented time.
The lengthy summer tour would have seen the band perform the music featured on A Farewell to Kings–the first Rush album bassist/singer Les Claypool ever heard–in addition to original material out of the Primus songbook. The tour’s name and overall mission also make for a fitting tribute to late Rush drummer Neil Peart, who died unexpectedly earlier this year.
The tour’s postponement should come as no surprise, as earlier this year Claypool’s other band, Oysterhead, canceled their planned 2020 performances in Chicago, IL and Stanford, CA.
Saturday, May 2nd, 12:45 p.m. ET
Rage Against The Machine has rescheduled its reunion tour with rap supergroup Run The Jewels. The tour, which was originally scheduled to take place throughout the spring and summer of 2020, has now been moved to 2021.
The band explained in a post to the band’s Facebook,
Rage Against The Machine will commence our tour at such a time when we are confident it will be safe for our fans. The rerouted dates (health and safety permitting) are at RATM.com and your tickets will be honored for the postponed shows. During this difficult time we also respect the fans who want their ticket money back. We’ve requested and confirmed that, as of this weekend, anyone who wants a refund can begin the process at your point of purchase. We sincerely hope that each one of you and your families and friends stay safe and well and that music is bringing you solace and inspiration. We look forward to seeing you.
RATM’s 2021 tour dates will now kick off on June 3rd at Don Haskins Center in El Paso, TX before the band makes its way through New Mexico, Arizona California, Oregon, and Washington. After a few dates north of the border, Rage will then head across the Midwest before going back to Canada, and then the East Coast. The band will then play five shows in six nights at Madison Square Garden in New York City (8/6-8/12) before closing the tour with shows in Washington D.C., North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Ohio.
The band’s festival appearances remain in question, however. While Rage has announced they will remain on the Coachella lineup, whether or not that festival takes place as scheduled in October remains to be seen. Ottawa Bluesfest has confirmed that RATM will appear on the 2021 lineup, though no word has come down from Boston Calling or Firefly Music Festival.
Friday, May 1st, 4:00 p.m. ET
A growing number of large-scale tours are throwing in the towel on 2020 and looking toward next year. On Friday, Phish announced that their full 2020 summer tour has been rescheduled to take place in the summer of 2021. For a full list of updated dates, check here.
Friday, May 1st, 12:00 p.m. ET
Organizers for Jam Cruise have announced that their planned voyage in early 2021, the 19th edition of the event, has been postponed until 2022. The lineup for the 2021 edition of the festival at sea had yet to be announced, but as usual, many patrons had already pre-booked their trips for next year. Jam Cruise is offering pre-bookers the option to apply for a refund or roll their booking over to 2022. For more information, head here.
This is a relatively significant development to the ever-moving concert cancellation threshold. While an event on a cruise ship is undoubtedly extra risky right now and the cancellation is likely prudent given the circumstances, this also marks one of the first instances of coronavirus concert cancellations pushing into 2021.
Other Cloud 9 events like Widespread Panic‘s Panic En La Playa and Greensky Bluegrass & Yonder Mountain String Band‘s Strings & Sol have also been preemptively canceled for 2021.
Thursday, April 30th, 4:00 p.m. ET
Bob Weir and Wolf Bros have canceled all tour dates for the remainder of 2020. In a statement posted to Weir’s social media pages, the band cited “The health, well-being and safety of everyone in our live music community” as their top priority and the impetus behind the cancellation.” Weir, Don Was, and Jay Lane went on to thank fans for their continued support and understanding, assuring everyone that they cannot wait to get back out on the road.
The statement also clarified refund options, saying: “Fans who purchased tickets for our upcoming shows directly from the official box office will automatically receive a full refund within 30 days. For further ticket information, contact your point of purchase.”
The move by Bob Weir and Wolf Bros signals an industry trend towards canceling all events in 2020. While some have remained hopeful for a return in 2020, with some even rescheduling performances to this summer, each passing day pushes that line further away.
Wednesday, April 29th, 4:00 p.m. ET
Widespread Panic has canceled their long-running annual Red Rocks run for 2020. As the band notes in their cancellation announcement, “We feel that June is too soon for such a large gathering and no other dates are available at the venue this year. We look forward to continuing the Red Rocks tradition with you, safely, next year.” This is fully in line with the rest of the industry, as most (if not all) events in June have already. been canceled.
The “no dates available until next year” part is telling, as well. Over the last week, a slew of artists have canceled upcoming shows at Red Rocks or pushed them to new dates in 2021. This seems to indicate that Red Rocks may not open for its usual spring/summer concert season at all this year.
Wednesday, April 29th, 4:00 p.m. ET
Organizers have canceled the 2020 editions of both Newport Folk Festival (July 30th–August 2nd) and Newport Jazz Festival (August 7th–9th). As the cancellation announcement notes, “Together with our local leaders and Governor Gina Raimondo, we have concluded that at this time we risk too much in having a gathering of our size.” You can read the full statement from organizers here.
Wednesday, April 29th, 2:00 p.m. ET
Various large-scale festivals have announced updated refund policies for scheduled 2020 events. Bonnaroo, which was postponed from early-June to late-September last month, will now offer refunds for a 30-day period beginning on Friday, May 1st. “
Thank you Bonnaroovians for your patience as we continue to navigate through these unprecedented times together,” organizers mentioned in a statement. “If you are unable to attend the rescheduled dates, we are now offering the opportunity to request a full refund. Refunds may be requested beginning May 1, 2020 starting at 9 am ET … Requests must be received by May 31, 2020 at 11:59 pm ET.” This is in line with the refund system recently laid out by Bonnaroo’s promoter, Live Nation, for all of their various postponed events.
Another Live Nation-produced event, The Peach Music Festival, also gave a brief update to its 2020 ticketholders. The Peach, one of the last remaining early-July events that has not been canceled or postponed, noted in the message that “within the next two weeks, [fans] will receive a comprehensive update on the status of the festival.” While still officially scheduled to take place from July 2nd–5th, The Peach informed fans today that they are indefinitely suspending the scheduled April 30th payment for their ticket layaway program. This seems to indicate that the event will not go forward as planned over Independence Day Weekend, but we won’t know for sure until there’s an official announcement.
Tuesday, April 28th, 4:30 p.m. ET
Levitate Music Festival, originally scheduled to take place on July 10th, 11th, and 12th of this year in Marshfield, MA, has been postponed until July 9th–11th, 2021. In its postponement announcement, the festival confirmed that all of its headliners have committed to the new 2021 dates, as have “the majority of the supporting artists.”
Tickets purchased for this year’s event will be honored in 2021. Ticketholders can also request a refund by reaching out to the festival directly via email.
The 2020 lineup was set to include Jack Johnson, Phil Lesh & Friends, Tash Sultana, Stick Figure, Umphrey’s McGee, and more.
The postponement of Levitate is in line with most of the other large-scale events originally set to take place in early- to mid-July, as the mid-summer month is looking quieter and quieter each day.
Friday, April 24th, 4:30 p.m. ET
The String Cheese Incident has canceled the first leg of the band’s 2020 Summer Tour. The cancellation impacts SCI’s mid-June dates at Sandy Amphitheater in Sandy, UT (6/17, 6/18), and KettleHouse Amphitheater in Bonner, MT (6/19, 6/20), as well as the early July dates at Cape Cod Melody Tent in Hyannis, MA (7/2, 7/3), and Thompson’s Point in Portland, ME (7/4).
SCI’s bassist Keith Moseley made the announcement on the band’s Facebook on Friday, sitting on the front porch of his home. He thanked the fans for their support and wished them good health before delivering the unfortunate news.
Thursday, April 23rd, 5:00 p.m. ET
High Sierra Music Festival announced that it will forego its 30th-anniversary 2020 event, originally set to take place on July 4th weekend, and set its sights on 2021 instead. The festival has announced a refund request period taking place now through May 3rd. For details on refunds, head here.
Within its announcement, however, High Sierra issued some good news: The festival’s updated initial lineup for 2021 will feature scheduled 2020 headliners like Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, Ziggy Marley, The Disco Biscuits, Lettuce, and more in addition to newly added acts like Dr. Dog, Marco Benevento, and more.
Thursday, April 23rd, 2:00 p.m. ET
Umphrey’s McGee has canceled their annual three-night run at Morrison, CO’s Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre, originally scheduled to take place on June 19th–21st with support from Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, Cory Wong, Goose, and more. As the band noted in their cancellation announcement, “Due to the realities of the coronavirus, there is no other safe or viable option.” Tickets will be refunded at point of purchase. This should not come as a surprise, as most large-scale events have already been canceled through the end of June.
Thursday, April 23rd, 9:30 a.m. ET
Elton John has postponed the remainder of his North American Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour, citing concerns over the coronavirus pandemic. The announcement comes after John previously postponed his tour from March 26th through May 2nd. This latest batch of postponements will see all shows scheduled through July 8th moved to 2021.
“This tough decision has been made with the continued safety and well-being of his fans at a time when health services are under increased pressure and with the concern that these gatherings continue to risk accelerating the spread of the Coronavirus [COVID-19],” team members for the singer wrote on Twitter. “Ticketholders of all 2020 postponed performances should hold onto their original tickets as new show date information for 2021 will be announced soon. All original tickets will be honored at the rescheduled performances,” the statement continued.
Though this is unwelcomed news for fans of John, it comes as no surprise. Virtually all early summer events across the globe have seen cancellation/postponement over the past few weeks. Even late-summer event cancellations have begun to roll in, seemingly legitimizing a report by The New York Times that we may not see any large gatherings until 2021.
Thursday, April 23rd, 9:30 a.m. ET
Insane Clown Posse has announced that the band’s annual festival, Gathering of the Juggalos, has been postponed until 2021. In a Facebook post, ICP announced that the festival, which was set to take place on August 5th-8th at Nelson Ledges Quarry Park in Garrettsville, OH, was canceled due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. This would have marked the first Gathering of the Juggalos at the Ohio venue in 15 years.
“For 20 consecutive years, the Gathering of the Juggalos has been the biggest family reunion on the planet, generating untold levels of freshness for thousands and thousands of attending Juggalos from all walks of life, all around the world,” said the band in a statement. “With tens of thousands of deaths due to the COVID-19 outbreak, we can’t possibly in good conscience even consider trying to put on a Gathering during these difficult times. Aside from the serious health concerns, there are numerous other factors that have destroyed any possibility of the Gathering taking place this year.”
The Gathering marks yet another American-based, August event to cancel its 2020 plans, following the Dead & Company tour cancellation from earlier this week. While spring shows and festivals have rescheduled to later in the summer months, it seems like the line of event viability may be moving further away towards the fall months.
Wednesday, April 22nd, 9:00 a.m. ET
As coronavirus lockdowns continue worldwide, Munich, Germany’s Oktoberfest, which takes place annually at the end of September and beginning of October, has been canceled for 2020. The cancellation will be a huge blow to the local economy, as the massive beer and Bavarian culture event annually brings thousands of travelers to the German city and generates more than one billion euros for local businesses each year. The cancellation of Oktoberfest—still many months away—shows that the German government is approaching the ongoing crisis seriously.
Back home in the U.S., however, certain things are starting to open back up. In Georgia, gyms, hair and nail salons, bowling alleys, and other such businesses will be allowed to reopen on Friday (4/24). In Florida, various beaches have reopened to the public, and in South Carolina, various businesses previously deemed “non-essential” are being allowed to restart their operations.
These moves, however, are less encouraging than they may seem on the surface with regard to the overall status of the lockdowns. You can largely chalk these moves up to politics, as various states begin to cave to the pressures of constituencies protesting against the economic shutdown. It will be interesting to see how the spread of the virus will be affected by these reopenings, as each of the aforementioned states is still seeing consistently rising infection and death numbers—even before reopening. If moves like this cause the numbers to spike in those areas, it could mean that the entire timetable continues to get pushed back.
Tuesday, April 21st, 4:00 p.m. ET
Electric Forest announced earlier this afternoon that the festival, scheduled for June 25–28th in Rothbury, MI, has been canceled due to health concerns. Instead, the 10th anniversary of the large electronic-leaning festival will take place in June 2021. While this doesn’t come as the largest surprise, Electric Forest’s cancellation decidedly pushes the line in the sand further back in the summer. Given that the festival was scheduled for the last weekend of June, it appears that no large-scale festivals will take place until July at the absolute earliest.
In another crushing blow, Dead & Company announced that their summer tour is canceled. The tour was set to begin on July 10th with a two-night run at Folsom Field in Boulder, CO and end on August 8th at Fenway Park in Boston, MA. It was announced last week, however, that University of Colorado Boulder had canceled all events at Folsom Field through July. While this revelation didn’t necessarily sink the rest of the tour, it put the prospects of any Dead & Company this summer in serious jeopardy.
Now, with Dead & Company tour canceled, it is likely only a matter of time before other large-scale outdoor summer tour cancellations begin to roll in as well.
Monday, April 20, 12:00 p.m. ET
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Monday that the city has canceled all non-essential events in June. He had previously issued a similar cancellation order for the month of May, noting that the status of June was still under review at that time. This includes a number of large-scale parades in the city like the Pride March, the Puerto Rican Day Parade, and the Salute to Israel Parade.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise at this point. New York City has by far the most coronavirus cases of anywhere in the country, and most (if not all) of the large-scale events in the city, like Governors Ball, have already announced their cancellations. What it does show, at least for New York, is that this mess won’t be sorted out any time soon.
Mayor DeBlasio Cancels NYC Events Through June
Friday, April 17, 3:00 p.m. ET
According to a number of health experts reached for comment in a new report from Rolling Stone, concerts in late 2020 are looking less and less like a sure thing.
Explains George Rutherford, an epidemiologist at the University of California, San Francisco, “I realize tons of people make their living doing this stuff, but I see [concerts] as pretty far down the list [in terms of opening events back up]; we’ve got to get the schools going first. Just because we get through this shelter-in-place doesn’t mean everything’s magically back to normal.”
According to Geoff Gottlieb, interim chair at the University of Washington’s Advisory Committee on Communicable Diseases, the event shutdown will likely extend through the Fall. Explains Gottlieb, “Ultimately, public-health jurisdictions will decide when and under what conditions live music will be allowed. I don’t think it’s reasonable at this point to assume that this will be by September, especially for shows that don’t have well-validated mitigation and social-distancing plans in place for their audiences and performers. Mass gatherings, such as large music festivals, will have the potential to seed new waves of infection from the virus and may not be possible until there is an effective vaccine, herd immunity, effective treatments, or other proven public-health measures in place.”
Friday, April 17, 1:00 p.m. ET
New Orleans’ VooDoo Music + Arts Experience has canceled its 2020 event, originally scheduled to take place from October 30th–November 1st. The festival had not yet announced its artist lineup for 2020. The 2019 edition of the festival included performances by Guns N’ Roses, Post Malone, Beck, Bassnectar, Brandi Carlile, The National, ZHU, Interpol, Young The Giant, Big Gigantic.
This move could be an effort on VooDoo’s part to follow with other major New Orleans festivals like Essence and the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival in canceling after Mayor Latoya Cantrell‘s recommendation on Tuesday that no large events take place in the Louisiana city until next year. It could also, however, represent a more significant development in the overall cancellation threshold. In addition to being one of the furthest-off festivals to announce its cancellation for 2020, it’s also one of the first to cancel before having announced a lineup. From this, we can gather that large events in the Fall are looking less viable than they were a few weeks back when several major festivals pushed their dates to September and October.
The new cancellations also extend beyond the Big Easy. Switzerland’s Montreux Jazz Festival, originally set to take place from July 3rd–18th, also announced that it will take 2020 off. This year will be the first year without a Montreux Jazz Festival in more than 50 years.
It’s not just festivals starting to look toward 2021 either—Taylor Swift just announced that she is canceling all of her remaining 2020 shows and rescheduling them for next year. Details on refunds and rescheduled dates are available here.
Thursday, April 16, 3 p.m. ET
University of Colorado Boulder has reportedly canceled all events at Folsom Field until July 31st, which would include Dead & Company‘s summer tour opener July 10th–11th. While no official announcement has yet come from the band, it was reported in the Boulder Daily Camera that all sporting events, concerts, commencements, and other mass gatherings at Folsom Field are canceled until August. A spokesperson for the University, however, has said that they are working with the band to provide rescheduled dates. This would mark the first cancellation on Dead & Company’s summer tour, and could spell the beginning of other large scale summer tour postponements.
Thursday, April 16, 1:30 p.m. ET
Organizers for the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival have announced the cancellation of 2020’s event due to the ongoing pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus. The announcement followed an initial statement that had postponed the festival until the fall.
A statement to the festival’s Facebook page read,
With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to evolve unpredictably—and out of an abundance of caution for the health and safety of our community, including musicians, fans, participants, and staff—Jazz Fest 2020 will not occur this fall, as previously announced.
This conclusion is made after much careful deliberation. It takes something truly momentous to interrupt a 50-year New Orleans tradition as special as the Festival, but we feel strongly that the most prudent course right now is to allow more time for the situation to stabilize. We thank everyone for their patience as we have considered all of the matters necessary to making this difficult decision.
That said, work has already begun on the presentation of next year’s Jazz Fest during its traditional springtime period. So save the dates: The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival presented by Shell will take place April 22 – May 2, 2021. We hope to see you there.
Until then, be safe!
The statement went on to explain that ticketholders would have the option of transferring their 2020 tickets to next years event or receiving a full refund—details for which would be provided in an email over the following days. For more information regarding the New Orleans Jazz Festival, visit its website, here.
The announcement comes just days after the New Orleans mayor recommended no large events in the city until 2021. While many large-scale events around the country have already set their sights on the Fall, this latest development could indicate that September/October may no longer be looking as viable as they did a few weeks ago.
Thursday, April 16, 11:45 a.m. ET
California Governor Gavin Newsome said in a press conference this week that large scale gatherings, such as concerts and sporting events, would likely not return to the state until a vaccine has been developed. Newsome stated, “The prospect of mass gatherings is negligible at best until we get to herd immunity and we get to a vaccine.” This echoes sentiments from bioethicist Zeke Emanuel published in The New York Times Magazine where he predicted that, realistically, large scale gatherings would not return to 2021.
The mayors of New York and Los Angeles also voiced similar opinions in recent press conferences, stating that social distancing mandates cannot be relaxed until a vaccine is developed or herd immunity kicks in. Scientists have noted, however, that a vaccine is likely between 12–18 months away. Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker has also publicly floated the idea of unilaterally canceling all mass gatherings in the state through 2020. This would include Lollapalooza, currently slated to take place July 30th–August 2nd in Chicago, which has so far made no announcements regarding cancellation or postponement. Governor Newsome’s comments are also highly problematic to Coachella organizers who postponed the event from April to October in hopes of waiting out COVID-19.
Thursday, April 16, 10:15 a.m. ET
The 2020 edition of Louisville, KY’s Forecastle Festival has been canceled. The event was set to take place from July 17th–19th with a lineup featuring Jack Johnson, Cage The Elephant, The 1975, Tash Sultana, Umphrey’s McGee, Goose, Grace Potter, Jon Bellion, Lil Tecca, Thundercat, Rainbow Kitten Surprise, Allen Stone, and many more. Tickets will be refunded at point of purchase.
This mid-July cancellation keeps pace with many of the summer festivals that have already canceled due to the ongoing health crisis.
Thursday, April 16, 10:00 a.m. ET
Widespread Panic on Wednesday postponed their run at Austin, TX’s ACL Live at The Moody Theater, originally scheduled for June 4th–6th, to July 23rd–25th. Tickets for the original dates will be honored at the rescheduled dates. While many larger events in the timeframe of the rescheduled dates have already canceled, theater shows like this may be more likely than larger festivals by the end of July. Rescheduling shows to late-July feels somewhat optimistic given the current climate, but Widespread Panic seems to think there’s a chance.
Down in New Orleans, however, promoters have a less optimistic outlook on the rest of 2020. On Tuesday, Mayor Cantrell recommended “no large events [in the city] such as French Quarter Fest and Jazz Fest, even Essence Festival, as it relates to the year 2020… the focus should shift to 2021.” Essence Festival, originally set to take place on the first weekend of July, announced in late March that it was moving “closer to the fall. In the wake of the mayor’s announcement, Essence Festival announced its official cancellation on Wednesday. If the cancellation of Essence is any indication, we can likely expect Jazz Fest and French Quarter Fest cancellations in the near future.
Wednesday, April 15, 1:15 p.m. ET
After announcing a postponement at the end of March, Hangout Music Festival has released a statement saying that the festival will be pushed to May 21st-23rd 2021 in Gulf Shores, AL.
In a statement posted to the festival’s Facebook, event organizers noted, “After much thought and many spirited discussions, due to the ongoing uncertainty around the COVID-19 pandemic, we have decided to postpone Hangout until next year.” The statement continued, “Since y’all loved the 2020 lineup so much, we will work really hard to bring as much of it back next year as possible (with some new goodies added of course)… We want to thank you for your hopeful patience over the past few weeks as we verified all options for a possible fall reschedule. But ultimately, we feel like the true essence of Hangout belongs in May as the most epic, carefree, ‘lets kick-off the summer right’ beach party.”
Hangout originally touted a lineup including the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Billie Eilish, Post Malone, Marshmello, and Lana Del Rey. The festival will offer refunds to those who cannot commit to next year’s dates. Details will be sent to ticket holders via email over the coming days.
Wednesday, April 15, 12:30 p.m. ET
While the status of live events during 2020 is still very much in question, Radiohead‘s Thom Yorke has taken a proactive approach, moving several postponed dates from the spring-leg of his Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes Tour to the fall.
While Yorke’s solo tour was scheduled around his Coachella appearance this spring, the festival has since moved to October 9th-11th and 16th-18th. Yorke’s updated tour schedule suggests that he will remain on the lineup if, in fact, the festival takes place as scheduled. His new tour dates include performances at The Anthem in Washington, D.C. (9/27); Radio City Music Hall in New York, NY (10/2); Hammerstein Ballroom in New York, NY (10/3-10/4); Auditorium Theatre in Chicago, IL (10/6); Arizona Federal Theatre in Phoenix, AZ (10/11); Sacramento Memorial Auditorium in Sacramento, CA (10/13); and Mission Ballroom in Denver, CO (10/19).
For tickets and Yorke’s latest tour information, head here.
Wednesday, April 15, 9:30 a.m. ET
As the COVID-19 quarantines push deeper into April, we’re starting to see a split in opinions regarding the viability of large events in late 2020. On the one hand, we have the bleaker outlooks: in addition to the bioethicist who predicted no large concerts until Fall 2021 in a recent New York Times Magazine roundtable, New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell recommended on Tuesday that no large events take place in the Louisiana city until next year. That recommendation throws a glaring wrench into New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival‘s previously announced plans to postpone from April/May to October.
On the other hand, the Tour de France, the prestigious French cycling competition originally scheduled for June 27th–July 19th, has also been postponed—but only until this August. The sports world and the music world are in the same boat these days, as both athletes and musicians remain in isolation with their futures uncertain, and it is likely that the eventual returns of both the sports and live music industries will follow similar trajectories. In this light, the rescheduling of the Tour de France to August is somewhat reassuring.
The overall outlook of the sports world, however, has been less optimistic than the outlook of the Tour de France. In March, the International Olympic Committee postponed the Tokyo Summer Olympic Games, originally set to take place from July 24th–August 9th, to an undetermined date in 2021, and American pro sports leagues like the NBA, NHL, and MLB remain on indefinite hiatus.
Monday, April 13, 12:00 p.m. ET
Even as concert cancellations push further and further into summer, Newport Folk Festival has continued to announce additions to its lineup. The festival, set to take place July 31st–August 2nd at Fort Adams State Park in Rhode Island, announced headliner Andrew Bird on Monday. This comes after several weeks of individual lineup announcements, including Sharon Van Etten, Delta Spirit, The Ballroom Thieves, Watkins Family Hour, and Barrie. In a post to the event’s Facebook page on March 31st, organizers said that they would continue to announce artists despite the uncertain future that lies ahead.
“As eternal optimists,” the post said. “We believe the most helpful thing we can do as a community right now is celebrate and raise awareness for the musicians we’d love to see at the Fort this summer.”
While there haven’t been any high-profile cancellations in late July or early August, the line in the sand continues to move further back each day. Additionally, a roundtable discussion in The New York Times Magazine published this week quotes bioethicist Zeke Emanuel as saying that fans shouldn’t expect mass gatherings, such as concerts, to return until fall 2021 at the earliest. Stay tuned to Newport Folk Festival’s Facebook page for more official announcements.
Monday, April 13, 11:00 a.m. ET
While many summer events have been rescheduling until the Fall, at least one expert continues to believe that those hopes are unrealistic. In a roundtable discussion in The New York Times Magazine regarding when and how the economy will restart following the health crisis, bioethicist Zeke Emanuel expressed significant hesitation toward the viability of large-scale events in late 2020.
“Larger gatherings — conferences, concerts, sporting events — when people say they’re going to reschedule this conference or graduation event for October 2020, I have no idea how they think that’s a plausible possibility,” he notes. “I think those things will be the last to return. Realistically we’re talking fall 2021 at the earliest.”
Here’s hoping he’s wrong.
Saturday, April 10, 2020, 10:00 a.m. ET
Burning Man will not take place in 2020 due to the continuing spread of the novel coronavirus. As organizers noted in a lengthy letter to the Burning Man community,
After much listening, discussion, and careful consideration, we have made the difficult decision not to build Black Rock City in 2020. Given the painful reality of COVID-19, one of the greatest global challenges of our lifetimes, we believe this is the right thing to do. Yes, we are heartbroken. We know you are too. In 2020 we need human connection and Immediacy more than ever. But public health and the well-being of our participants, staff, and neighbors in Nevada are our highest priorities.
The large-scale, week-long event, which typically brings tens of thousands of people to the Nevada desert, was set to take place from August 30th–September 7th. Those dates make it one of the “latest” events in 2020 to cancel due to coronavirus. However, this cancellation isn’t necessarily indicative of the entire threshold moving into late-August and early-September. Due to Burning Man’s size and the global audience it attracts, it is inherently a more high-risk event with regard to its potential to spread the virus. Come September, smaller shows and gatherings may face a more favorable situation. Time will tell.
Friday, April 10, 2020, 10:00 a.m. ET
AEG Presents has announced a bevy of concert cancellations and postponements in Colorado through the months of May, June, and July. This announcement affects venues like the 1st Bank Center, Mission Ballroom, The Ogden Theatre, and Red Rocks Amphitheatre.
While venues will reschedule many shows, some have already seen an outright cancellation, such as Lotus‘ show at Red Rocks with Marc Rebillet, Breakbot, and Eminence Ensemble on April 25th and The Motet‘s co-headlining show with Turkuaz, Jerry Harrison, Adrian Belew, and Rubblebucket on May 22nd. As of now, The Revivalists‘ performance with Preservation Hall Jazz Band and Neal Francis on June 12th at Red Rocks, as well as Umphrey’s McGee‘s three-night run with Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, Cory Wong, Goose, Godboner, and more, have not been canceled, leaving hope for rescheduled dates.
Thursday, April 9, 2020, 12:30 p.m. ET
The 2020 edition of LOCKN’ Festival, originally scheduled to take place on June 19th–21st in Arrington, VA, has been postponed until the Fall. It will now take place on October 2nd–4th, joining an increasingly crowded month of rescheduled festivals. The festival’s postponement announcement noted that more information regarding the postponed artist lineup and ticket refunds will be released as it is confirmed.
The LOCKN’ announcement shows the festival cancellation threshold continuing to move into June and reaffirms the month of October as the point to which festival promoters are comfortable with moving.
Dark Star Orchestra also announced that their annual Dark Star Jubilee, originally scheduled to take place in Thornville, OH on May 22nd–24th, has been pushed to next May. The postponement announcement notes that while the 2020 event is not moving forward, most of the bands on the 2020 lineup have already committed to the rescheduled event next year, set to take place on May 28th–30th, 2021.
The band, however, has not given up hope regarding smaller-scale shows this summer. In the same announcement, Dark Star Orchestra confirmed rescheduled dates for their 2020 Spring tour, which is now scheduled to take place in mid-July. Here’s hoping that seemingly ambitious bet works out for them.
Tuesday, April 7, 2020, 12:30 p.m. ET
Organizers at Bunbury Music Festival announced today that this year’s gathering has been canceled. The festival was set to take place June 5th–7th and host a lineup featuring Twenty One Pilots, Marshmello, The Avett Brothers, Billy Strings, and many more.
The cancellation comes after Ohio Governor Mike DeWine extended the state’s shelter-in-place order until May 1st. Bunbury, which takes place in Cincinnati on the shores of the Ohio River, had planned to wait out the initial stay-at-home order, which was due to expire on April 6th. Now, as the line in the sand moves ever-further into the summer, organizers at Bunbury have decided the best course of action is to cancel this year’s event, and to begin planning for next year.
Bunbury joins a growing number of other June festivals that have canceled or postponed, including Bonnaroo, Hog Farm Hangout, Governors Ball, and Denmark’s Roskilde Festival, which was canceled yesterday. As states like Ohio continue to push shelter-in-place orders into May, it is likely that there will be more June cancellations to come.
Tuesday, April 7, 2020, 11:30 a.m. ET
The 2020 edition of New Orleans’ BUKU Music + Art Project has officially been canceled. The festival was originally set to take place on March 20th and 21st with a lineup featuring Tyler, The Creator, Run The Jewels, Flume, Illenium, Zeds Dead, and more.
On March 12th, festival organizers had announced that BUKU had been postponed, and would now take place over Labor Day weekend in early September. Now, it seems that BUKU organizers were a little too optimistic about the viability of their event this Fall.
In the cancellation announcement posted on Tuesday, April 7th, BUKU organizers addressed their overly-optimistic rescheduling of this year’s event, noting, “The world was a different place 3 weeks ago when we were forced to cancel BUKU and made the quick call to reschedule it for Labor Day weekend. Maybe we were naive, but the COVID crisis seemed manageable at that point. … It was achievable. But then, as the pandemic began to ravage NewOrleans, and now as we watch cases surpass a million worldwide, it just doesn’t feel right to plan a music festival for later this year and put everyone involved through more uncertainty.”
While likely a prudent move on BUKU’s part, this is a less-than-encouraging development for the cancellation threshold. Many large-scale festivals have already rescheduled to September and October. Now that BUKU has gone from “postponed” to “canceled,” we wouldn’t be surprised to see more events abandon their late-2020 rescheduled dates and turn their sights toward 2021 instead.
Monday, April 6, 2020, 5:30 p.m. ET
The 50th-anniversary edition of Roskilde Festival, scheduled to take place at Animal Showgrounds in Roskilde, Denmark on June 27th-July 4th, has been canceled, event organizers announced on Monday. Headliners Taylor Swift, Deftones, Kendrick Lamar, Faith No More, Kacey Musgraves, Tyler, The Creator, FKA Twigs, Thom Yorke, The Strokes, HAIM, and Thomas Helmig were set to perform at the 7-day event, along with hundreds of other musicians.
In a Facebook announcement, Roskilde organizers cited the Danish government’s decision to extend its prohibition on larger gatherings until August 31st, 2020 as the reason for the cancelation.
“Though we feared this would happen, we have until now hoped that it wouldn’t end this way. However, the risk of getting infected with the COVID-19 virus is too large when many people are gathered, and that consideration is by far the most important,” they said. The announcement continued, “Roskilde Festival no. 50 was meant to be something very special. It was to mark and celebrate the roots of our festival by looking forward to the future.”
All tickets purchased for the 2020 event will be valid for the 2021 event, however, refund options are available as well. The festival organizers promise to reach out about these options in the near future.
Monday, April 6, 2020, 1:15 p.m. ET
Organizers for Rocklahoma took to social media to announce that this year’s festival has been canceled. The original gathering was set for Memorial Day weekend, May 22nd–24th, and adds to the growing list of May events that have been canceled. Rocklahoma plans to return in 2021, rather than attempting to reschedule for later in the fall.
Rocklahoma follows Summer Camp Music Festival, which was also scheduled for Memorial Day weekend, in announcing a cancelation/postponement. Summer Camp, however, will still take place in 2020 but has instead moved to the weekend of August 21st–23rd. The announcements from Rocklahoma and Summer Camp signify the likelihood that most events in May will be canceled or postponed.
Monday, April 6, 2020, 10:30 a.m. ET
Electric Daisy Carnival, originally scheduled to take place from May 15th–17th in Las Vegas, has been postponed. The event will now take place on October 2nd–4th. This follows the ongoing trend of events set to take place in May and June moving to the Fall months.
Postponements aren’t the only things getting announced in the Fall, either. Last week, Telluride Blues & Brews Festival announced the lineup for its 2020 event, which is set to take place in Telluride, CO from September 18th–20th.
From these new announcements/rescheduled dates, we continue to see a trend of concert organizers looking past the summer and placing their bets on a revival of live events come Fall.
Saturday, April 4, 2020, 3:30 p.m. ET
The Disco Biscuits have detailed several rescheduled shows from the band’s recently postponed 2020 spring tour, offering a light at the end of our proverbial quarantine tunnel. Dates for Missouri, Colorado, Minnesota, Tennessee, and Maryland have now been moved to the end of the summer and fall.
The newly rescheduled dates will see shows in St. Louis, MO (7/29) and Kansas City, MO (7/30) before a two night stand at Denver, CO’s Mission Ballroom (7/31, 8/1). Two nights at Minneapolis, MN’s Fillmore Minneapolis (8/26, 8/27) will then set up a stint at The Caverns in Pelham, TN (9/3-9/6), where the quartet added an extra, fourth show. The last two rescheduled dates will see the Biscuits hit the Filmore Silver Spring in Silver Spring, MD (10/2, 10/3).
Furthermore, the band made sure to mention that more information regarding shows in Raleigh, NC; Philadelphia, PA; Port Chester, NY; New Orleans, LA; Charlotte, NC; and Birmingham, AL would be available soon.
Friday, April 3, 2020, 1:00 p.m. ET
Organizers for Skull & Roses Festival have announced the official reschedule dates for its 2020 festival. The festival is now rescheduled for April 8th-11th, 2021.
The festival was originally slated to occur on April 2nd–5th at Ventura, CA’s Ventura County Fairgrounds, but was one of the many live music events affected by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Instead of trying to hash out new dates in the fall with the uncertainty of the state of live events being better, organizers of Skull & Roses felt it was best to allow a full year to fully prepare for one of the world’s biggest celebrations of the music of the Grateful Dead.
Original purchases of 2020 festival tickets, camping passes, and hotel reservations will be honored for the new dates in 2021, and fans who keep their 2020 orders will receive a $20 merch booth credit to use during the rescheduled festival. Read the festival’s official statement here.
Campout For The Cause also announced its official cancellation of its 2020 festival. The 12th annual festival was initially scheduled for May 29th-31st at Buena Vista, CO’s The Meadows, with a lineup of The California Honeydrops, Drew Emmitt, Lindsay Lou, Daniel Rodriguez, Rapidgrass, Grant Farm, Tierro Band, Mama Magnolia, Bonfire Dub, We Dream Dawn, WinterWonderWomen, The Sea Stars, Pickin’ on the Dead, and more.
The festival will now take place on June 4th-6th, 2021. All 2020 ticket holders will be automatically refunded to their original payment account. For more information, please visit the festival’s official Facebook page and its website.
Thursday, April 2, 2020, 11:00 a.m. ET
Organizers for The Hog Farm Hangout have announced the postponement of its 2020 festival. The festival was initially scheduled for June 12th-14th at Black Oak Ranch in Laytonville, CA, but will now take place on September 18th-20th. In a Facebook post, festival organizers confirmed that much of the lineup will stay the same, which sees three nights of The String Cheese Incident.
All festival tickets purchased will be valid during the new dates, however, the festival has announced that refund and exchange options will be available in the coming days should any patrons not be able to attend the new dates.
Wednesday, April 1, 2020, 5:30 p.m. ET
Organizers for DelFest have announced the postponement of its 2020 festival. The festival was initially scheduled for May 21st-24th at the Allegany County Fairgrounds in Cumberland, MD and feature a lineup including The Del McCoury Band, The Travelin’ McCourys, Old Crow Medicine Show, St. Paul & The Broken Bones, Béla Fleck & The Flecktones, Punch Brothers, Sam Bush, Billy Strings, Mandolin Orange, The Infamous Stringdusters, Sierra Hull, Leftover Salmon, The Jerry Douglas Band, Anders Osborne & Jackie Greene, Molly Tuttle, The Lil Smokies, Della Mae, Cris Jacobs Band, emcee Joe Craven, and more. Organizers have announced that a postponement date in the Fall could be likely, or until 2021.
Tuesday, March 31, 2020, 1:00 p.m. ET
The 2020 edition of Boston Calling Music Festival has now been officially canceled. The festival was initially scheduled to take place on May 22nd–24th and feature a lineup including Foo Fighters, Rage Against The Machine, and Red Hot Chili Peppers. The festival will be reaching out to ticket buyers regarding options for refunds and/or rolling tickets over to next year’s event. Alabama’s Hangout Music Festival also announced its cancellation today. It was originally scheduled to take place on May 15th–18th.
These cancellations should come as no surprise at this point, as virtually every large-scale event during the month of May has been canceled or postponed.
Monday, March 30, 2020, 12:00 p.m. ET
The 2020 edition of Trondossa Music & Arts Festival, the Widespread Panic-hosted event originally scheduled to take place on May 16th and 17th, has been officially canceled due to the ongoing spread of the novel coronavirus. The 2020 edition of Rooster Walk, originally set to take place at the end of May, has also been canceled.
At this point, you can safely assume that any large-scale events scheduled to take place during the month of May will be canceled/postponed in the near future if haven’t already gotten the axe.
Monday, March 30, 2020, 11:30 a.m. ET
Barcelona, Spain’s annual Primavera Sound festival has been postponed. The event, originally set to take place in early June, has now set its sights on August 26th–30th. While this is far from the first early-June event we’ve seen get postponed, the rescheduled dates in August seem to indicate an increasingly common notion that large-scale concerts may be viable come late-Summer.
Monday, March 30, 2020, 11:00 a.m. ET
Various legacy artists have now called off extensive 2020 tours as we continue to fight against the spread of the coronavirus. Roger Waters‘ This Is Not A Drill tour, originally set to run from early July through early October, has been postponed until 2021. As Waters noted in the postponement announcement, “Bummer, but if it saves one life, it’s worth it.
Ringo Starr has also pushed his North American 2020 tour to next year. The tour was initially set to run from late May through early June. “This is very difficult for me,” the former The Beatles drummer said in a statement. “In 30 years I think I’ve only missed 2 or 3 gigs nevermind a whole tour. But this is how things are for all of us now, I have to stay in just like you have to stay in, and we all know it’s the peace and loving thing we do for each other.”
Both of these postponements seem to indicate that the acts are calling 2020 live shows a wash. Don’t be too discouraged, though. Both Waters and Starr are in the age demographic most susceptible to the virus, and their fans skew the same age. While they are both clearing their 2020 schedules, these were both massive tours. Their postponements don’t necessarily indicate that any shows in late-2020 will not be viable, but rather likely indicate that tours of this magnitude are not yet comfortable with pushing forward during this time of uncertainty.
Friday, March 27, 2020, 2:00 p.m. ET
Dark Star Orchestra announced that their spring tour has been rescheduled. Most of the rescheduled dates, originally slated to take place in March and April, will now take place in October and December. One date on the band’s rescheduled list, however, stands out: The band’s performance at The Caverns, originally scheduled for April 11th, has been moved to June 25th. While we’ve seen many of the scheduled events for this Spring move to the Fall, this is the earliest rescheduled date we’ve seen so far. Will events be viable come late-June? We don’t know for sure, but Dark Star Orchestra seems to be betting on it. For a full list of rescheduled tour dates, head here.
Thursday, March 26, 2020, 3:00 p.m. ET
Domefest, originally set to take place on May 14th–16th, has been canceled. The Pigeons Playing Ping Pong-hosted fest was one of the last holdouts for the month of May, which at this point you can safely assume will be as devoid of live music events as the month of April.
Thursday, March 26, 2020, 2:00 p.m. ET
New York City festival Governors Ball has been canceled due to the ongoing health crisis. The event was initially set to take place during the first weekend of June. The cancellation is the latest to push the threshold of the ongoing wave of event shutdowns into the early summer.
Thursday, March 26, 2020, 12:15 p.m. ET
Organizers for Illinois’ Summer Camp Music Festival have announced that the 2020 event will be postponed from its original scheduled dates of May 22nd–24th to August 21st-23rd, in hopes of outlasting the national spread of COVID-19. According to the announcement, all of the event’s top tier headliners (moe., Umphrey’s McGee, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead) have agreed to perform the new August dates, although due to the unavoidable schedule conflicts, a small number of artists on the 2020 lineup poster may change.
The postponement to August does allow the event to stand out from the heavily saturated schedule of major festivals which have been pushed back to the fall months, including Summerfest, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Coachella, and Bonnaroo. The August dates, however, are still uncertain with regard to the viability of large-scale events, so we’re hoping things are good to go by then to avoid another postponement.
Thursday, March 26, 2020, 10 a.m. ET
Two major cancellations came from the U.K. today in the forms of Download Festival and Isle Of Wight both pushing to 2021 amid health concerns. While many in the U.S. might not be paying terribly close attention to cancellations and postponements from across the pond, this one is significant as both festivals were set for the second weekend of June, with Download Festival going June 12th–14th and Isle of Wight 11th–14th. Download Festival was set to feature a hard rock lineup with headlining acts KISS, Iron Maiden, System of a Down, Korn, Deftones, and many more. Isle of Wight, on the other hand, is another of the U.K.’s long-standing pop megafestivals, in the same vein as Glastonbury, which has also been canceled. Isle Of Wight was set to host a lineup featuring Lionel Richie, Lewis Capaldi, Snow Patrol, The Chemical Brothers, Duran Duran, and many more.
This marks further festival cancellations pushing into the month of June, joining the previously mentioned Glastonbury, as well as Bonnaroo, Backwoods At Mulberry Mountain, Summerfest, Firefly, and an ever-expanding list of others in the United States.
Wednesday, March 25, 2020, 4:15 p.m. ET
Mountain Jam, which was set to return on May 29th–31st at New York’s Bethel Woods Center For The Arts with scheduled performances from Trey Anastasio Band, Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, Gov’t Mule, The Head and The Heart, Brandi Carlile, Greensky Bluegrass, Andy Frasco and the U.N., and more, has officially been canceled.
An announcement shared by event producer Gary Chetkof on Wednesday reads, “Mountain Jam will no longer be taking place this year. After 15 consecutive years we will miss all the familiar faces and uplifting vibes that our community shares.”
It’s worth taking note that while this Live Nation-produced festival has been canceled, various other Live Nation festivals like The Peach (July 2nd–5th) and Camp Bisco (July 9th–July 11th) are still, officially, going forward at this time. From this, we can assume that the production giant has accepted the doomed fate of live events in May, but continues to hold out hope for events later in the summer for the time being.
Tuesday, March 24, 2020, 3:00 p.m. ET
Trey Anastasio Band has officially canceled their 2020 summer tour, which was set to run from late May through early June. Trey’s main project, Phish, has yet to comment on its scheduled summer tour, which is set to begin in mid-July.
This seems to be in line with many of the current cancellations, which appear to show the concert industry abandoning dates in June and looking toward July as a potentially viable month for concerts to resume. That, or they’re just not ready to rule July out just yet.
Tuesday, March 24, 2020, 11:00 a.m. ET
Milwaukee, WI’s annual Summerfest, originally scheduled for June 24th—July 5th, 2020, has been postponed. The long-running summer festival will now take place between September 3rd and September 19th. As the postponement announcement notes, “The new dates provide the best possible option to deliver the Summerfest experience our fans and sponsors have grown to love; we are doing everything possible to continue a tradition which spans five decades.”
Today also brought the official cancellation of Firefly Music Festival, originally set to take place from June 18th–21st. The festival will not be rescheduled for later in the year, as organizers have opted to cancel this year’s event outright and instead look toward next year.
These events’ originally-scheduled late-June, early-July dates make them some of the later U.S. festivals to be canceled or postponed. We’ll continue to keep an eye on the various events still scheduled to take place during June and July timeframe as their viability continues to change by the day.
Tuesday, March 24, 2020, 9:30 a.m. ET
The International Olympic Committee has confirmed that the Summer Olympic Games originally set to take place from July 24th–August 9th have been officially postponed. The International Olympic Committee has stated that the Tokyo Olympic Games should be rescheduled for “no later than summer 2021.”
While this is not a “concert,” it is a very large, international gathering, which could give some indication as to the viability of large events in the late summer of 2020. As of now, most events and tours set to take place during this late-summer timeframe have not commented on their status.
While the originally-set Olympic games mark one of the latest-scheduled 2020 events to get the axe due to COVID-19, the thought process behind the Olympics’ postponement was surely heavily influenced by the nature of the Games, which bring people from virtually everywhere in the world to a small, somewhat confined location. While this doesn’t necessarily change the situation for domestic music festivals and tours during July/August, it certainly puts those shows on watch.
Saturday, March 21, 2020, 4:00 p.m. ET
Epicenter, Welcome To Rockville, and Sonic Temple have all been canceled for 2020 by Danny Wimmer Presents. The three large hard rock and heavy metal festivals were scheduled for the first three weekends of May. Epicenter was slated for May 1st–3rd in Marston, NC; Welcome To Rockville in Daytona Beach, FL (May 8th–10th); and Sonic Temple in Columbus, OH (May 15th–17th). That same production company also puts on Louder Than Life in Louisville, KY (9/18–20), Aftershock in Sacramento, CA (10/9–11), and Bourbon and Beyond in Louisville, KY (9/25–27). As of today, each of those festivals are still scheduled to occur. DWM has even given fans with tickets to any of the canceled festivals the option to redeem their passes for entry at either Louder Than Life or Aftershock. Otherwise, tickets for the canceled festivals will be honored with refunds or admission to next year’s event.
The cancellation of these three large festivals in the first half of May shows the line in the sand being pushed further back toward the beginning of summer. While they may not be the latest festivals to be canceled in terms of dates (which goes to Glastonbury which was scheduled for June 24th–28th), it joins a growing number of May events that are beginning to be canceled.
Saturday, March 21, 2020. 12:00 p.m. ET
Suwannee Rising, originally scheduled to take place at Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak, FL on April 16th–18th, has been officially postponed. In their official statement, festival organizers noted that considering “the uncertainty about COVID-19. we feel uneasy about choosing a future date to hold this event. We will closely monitor this pandemic and consult the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control, Florida Department of Health, and our local health department.”
The cancellation of the April festival was all but a certainty as large events across the country (and the world) have been halted through the month. However, while some of the earlier postponed festivals were quick to announce rescheduled dates for later this year, the fact that Suwannee Rising is holding off from doing so may indicate a shift in the projected length of this concert hiatus.
Friday, March 20, 2020, 5:00 p.m. ET
After initially announcing its April 2020 postponement earlier this week, Sweetwater 420 Fest revealed its rescheduled dates for when the Atlanta, GA-based festival returns next year on April 23rd-25th, 2021. Event organizers confirmed they have locked in a number of artists who were supposed to perform at this year’s event prior to its cancelation, including Oysterhead, Trey Anastasio Band, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, Lettuce, Toots & The Maytals, and more.
This move seems like it was mostly focused on efforts to retain the festival’s scheduled 2020 lineup, so it’s hard to say whether it gives any indication as to the viability of concerts and festivals in the second half of 2020.
Thursday, March 19th, 2020, 12:00 p.m. ET
As of now, we can assume that all March 2020 shows and festivals have been canned. April is also looking pretty bare, with large-scale festivals like New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival (originally April 23rd–May 3rd), Coachella (originally April 10th–12th, April 17th–19th; now October 9th–11th, October 16th–18th), and StageCoach (originally April 24th–26th; now October 23rd–25th) postponing to the fall and SweetWater 420 Fest on indefinite postponement/cancellation.
While many scheduled events for the month of May continue to hold out hope that the virus will have run its course by then, May event postponements have already begun, most notably with BottleRock Napa (originally May 22nd–24th) moving to the first weekend of October. The cancellations and postponements have begun pushing into June, as well, with Bonnaroo (originally scheduled for June 11th–14th) pushing back until September and Glastonbury (originally June 24th–28th) and Backwoods at Mulberry Mountain (originally June 4th–7th) canceling outright. The Rolling Stones also notably postponed their entire spring/summer tour of North America, which was set to run from early May through early July.
For now, it seems that the industry is hoping that events in July will be safe from the cascade of cancellations.
Check back for more updates on COVID-19 concert cancellation timeframes as the situation continues to unfold.
[Originally published 3/19/20]