The year 2020 has been one heck of a wild ride, to say the very least. It is no secret that the frightful COVID-19 pandemic is decimating the hospitality and music industries and killing thousands of people a day worldwide. The majority of music festivals in the world have been cancelled. Changing summer plans may be aggravating, but keeping people safe is a priority.
Here are some of the biggest music festivals of 2020 canceled as a result of COVID-19.
Major Festivals Canceled
Burning Man is one of the psychedelic community’s most sought-after festivals in the world. Its Ten Principles include gifting, radical self-reliance, and communal effort. The festival is truly one-of-a-kind.
Described as a “network of people” inspired by the Ten Principles, Burning Man unites those seeking a more creative space to connect their existence with the larger world. Burning Man’s official website states, “Throughout the year Burning Man works to build Black Rock City, home of the largest annual Burning Man gathering, and nurture the distinctive culture emerging from that experience.”
The phenomenal event usually takes place every year at the end of the summer, during the week leading up to and including Labor Day weekend. The dates set for this year are August 25 through September 2.
Last April, the Burning Man organization announced its official cancellation, due to COVID-19. As a brilliant alternative, the event will take place in “the virtual multiverse.” Volunteers can participate by helping to build the infrastructure of Black Rock City, getting inspired by browsing art, and naturally, creating and sharing on the platform Spark.
Head here to get involved in building Burning Man’s Virtual Black Rock City, and here to read more about Black Rock City’s plans for the virtual event.
The Burning Man organization is asking 2020 DGS and FOMO ticket holders to donate all or part of their purchase amount. Instead of receiving a full refund, this will help support the nonprofit, which is entirely dependent on donations.
However, there are options for people needing a refund. Requesting a full refund request via the Burner Profile is no longer possible, but more information on the matter can be found here.
According to the organization, their focus is on “getting us all back to the desert in 2021.” Burning Man believes that “their energy is best spent encouraging Burners to build art and experiences for each other.”
Updates from the Burning Man can be found here.
The Boom Festival is a biennial transformational festival that takes place in the beautiful European country of Portugal. Similar to Burning Man, it features workshops, film screenings, yoga sessions, group meditation, visual exhibits, and more. As a result, it has attracted the psychedelic community ever since its creation in the late 1990s, earning its title as one of the largest psytrance music festivals in the world, and undeniably the biggest one in Europe.
Last March, the Boom Festival organization published a letter outlining preparations for Boom 2020. Unfortunately, due to the worsening pandemic, the organization’s concern grew, resulting in the festival’s cancellation. Read more here.
Boom festival has rescheduled for July 22 to 29 of next year. Its 13th edition will occur during the full moon. Because of its rescheduled date, ticket holders will not be able to demand a refund. They will, however, be able to attend the festival in 2021.
Boom will put a third platform online for people unable to attend the festival in 2021. The organization states that this platform “will only be made available once the situation has normalised and countries around the world are no longer under an emergency state.”
Coachella is perhaps current pop culture’s most relevant music festival. Featuring the most popular artists, Coachella offers some of the most sought-after shows every year. As a matter of fact, it isn’t uncommon to spot A-list celebrities enjoying the music along with other people attending.
Sadly, the Californian festival has also canceled for this year due to the pandemic.
In early June, the organization announced it was rescheduling in accordance with Riverside county’s continuing health guidance. The organization published an official statement on their website, stating, “This is not the future that any of us hoped to confront, but our main focus remains the well-being of our fans, staff, artists, desert partners and everyone involved in the festival.”
Coachella has rescheduled for next year, with the following dates: weekend one will take place April 9–11, 2021, and weekend two will be April 16–18, 2021. Stagecoach is set for April 23–25, 2021.
The new refund policy states that as of June 14, “all 2020 passes will be honored in 2021.” Current pass-holders were sent an email on Monday, June 15, with further instructions to request a refund or to roll over to next year. If you have not received an email yet, the organization’s website offers an informative FAQ section here.
This substantial country music festival brand is one of the biggest events in North America. Country Thunder hosts several concerts each year in both the USA and Canada. Saskatchewan had its debut festival in 2005 and Alberta in 2016.
Notable past acts have included Garth Brooks, Kenny Rogers, John Denver, Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, Tim McGraw, Clint Black, and Alan Jackson.
Each festival offers entertainment on multiple stages. The main stage hosts national acts, with new upcoming talent playing throughout the day. The side stage gives local artists opportunities to perform.
Country Thunder began individually canceling festivals in early April. As of today, the festival in Saskatchewan is the latest of the Country Thunder events to officially cancel.
Keep updated with a general overall view of the Country Thunder festivals. Twitter is one of the most efficient and practical ways of staying up-to-date on events and dates. Country Thunder’s official website also provides updates on new dates for each event.
Tickets bought for the 2020 festivals will be valid for the 2021 events.
Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC) is the largest electronic dance music festival in North America. The annual flagship event takes place in May at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway and in Orlando.
Because of its concerts, primarily featuring electronic dance producers and DJs such as Calvin Harris, Diplo, Alesso, and more, psychedelic users often favor the festival. This is especially due to the fact that the festival incorporates a variety of electronic music, respecting many different tastes of music, and generally offering an amazing selection of atmospheres.
According to the official website, EDC’s founders created it “with the purpose of utilizing music and art to inspire individuals. In addition to the music, individuals experience three-dimensional superstructures, colorful glow-in-the-dark environments, and LED-infused flora and fauna.”
Last April, the organization officially announced its festival’s cancellation due to the coronavirus pandemic.
EDC Las Vegas 2020 will still happen this year, but will now take place from October 2–4. The organization confirms it will honor tickets bought for the original event.
Find more information here.
This Belgian electronic dance music festival often appears on nightclubbers’ bucket lists of music festivals and events to attend. This is because it is one of the major EDM events in the world, featuring some of the best DJs and artists in the industry.
Tomorrowland takes place every year in Boom, Belgium, and hosts up to 400,000 people. The organization even provides—with the iconic little town of “Dreamville”—Tomorrowland’s very own village, which welcomes tens of thousands of festival visitors.
Like most festivals, Tomorrowland announced its cancellation last April. The organization wrote on the festival’s official website that “Tomorrowland cannot take place in 2020 due to the worldwide coronavirus outbreak and the governmental order that has been issued in that regard.”
The 16th edition of Tomorrowland will take place in summer 2021. The dates will be July 16–18 and July 23–25. All purchased Tomorrowland 2020 tickets will be transferable to Tomorrowland 2021.
For more information, FAQ have been uploaded here.
Festivals with COVID-19 Precautions
Festival United offers a great calendar of all festivals around the world with up-to-date information on cancellation and COVID-19.
Although a majority of important events have canceled for the summer, take precautions in case you find yourself wanting to participate in a mass gathering for recreational purposes. This includes keeping a social distance of 6 feet (or 2 meters), wearing a mask, washing hands frequently, and carrying antibacterial gel. More information on how to protect yourself and others can be found here.
Virtual events are a great way to balance out your festival cravings and your safety. Here are some virtual festivals you can attend:
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Contributing RS Author: Andréa Oldereide
Andréa is a London-based journalist who loves to write and cover anything out of the ordinary. You can probably find me her reviewing a drag show or walking her dog if she isn’t sitting by her computer and a cup of coffee writing something. Andréa has written for an LGBTQ-based website as well as a fatherhood themed publication and more. Andréa definitely never limits her writings to one specific area. Most importantly, she has always been fascinated by the mind and how our brains function, so you can expect a lot of research-based article from her. Feel free to follow her on Insta @drewithanaccent and Twitter @Dre_Oldereide