How COVID-19 Has Affected Music Festivals
A Guide to Navigating Music Festivals Affected by COVID-19
The simple act of creating a guide about music festivals that have been recently canceled, postponed or rescheduled is disheartening. It is difficult to update this information every time we read another music festival announcing their changes due to COVID-19.
As music lovers who are passionate about festivals, we are struggling to sort through all of the information out there regarding each festival we had hoped to attend. Not only do we need to consider the new dates, but there are also varying ticket exchange policies to navigate.
Music Industry Hit Hard by COVID-19
The music festival and concert industry was one of the first to really take a hit with the mandatory closures due to the coronavirus – and it will most likely be one of the last to recover.
Every event venue is shut down. Festival grounds are closed indefinitely. Not only are musicians out of work, but so are the venue staff, vendors, security, brand ambassadors, promoters, and more.
The music industry is created by thousands of hardworking members who come together to create the entire music festival experience for the attendees. With music festivals and concerts coming to an abrupt halt, many of us are struggling to maintain.
Should Music Festivals Cancel or Reschedule?
Many festivals have optimistically moved their dates to the Fall of 2020, while others have made the difficult decision to focus their efforts on 2021.
We can’t imagine having to make this choice right now, wading through all of the information and misinformation about this tragic health pandemic.
Fall 2020 Is Booked Up
There seemed to be a trend in the beginning of the coronavirus epidemic. Many music festivals moved their dates to later in the year. The overall tone of the pandemic seemed to be a little more optimistic and perhaps even a bit understated.
Our fall festival calendar seemed to be busting at the seams, and we wondered how so many festivals will fit into a few short months. It felt a bit overwhelming, but also exciting to think about spending the cooler days of autumn dancing with our friends again.
The next wave of festival decisions seemed to move towards cancellations. Honestly, there probably weren’t many dates available for music festivals to reschedule at this point. There is already major competition with the hundreds of music festivals that take place across this country every year. It doesn’t make sense to try to push tickets for a fall festival that would coincide with others that grabbed up those prime dates initially.
Every day, we see a new festival get canceled or postponed until 2021. Many have locked in the same weekend and location, along with as much of the band and entertainment lineup as possible.
It seems to be the new reality that the festival season will struggle to recover at all in 2020, but we are hopeful that we will return to normal (well, a new normal) in 2021.
COVID-19 and Music Festivals: The Ticket Refund Issue
We know there are many festival attendees who have spent money to purchase tickets in advance, and it can be quite challenging for the festival producers to process these refunds. We applaud the music festivals who have given multiple options to the ticket-holders, so be sure to review their return policies thoroughly.
For festivals that have chosen to reschedule in 2020 or postpone to 2021, the majority have offered to rollover tickets to the new dates. This is obviously the best answer and solution for the music festival itself, but it also means that ticket holders are guaranteed the lowest pricing. Plus, just think of it as one more thing you don’t have to worry about – and one thing you have to look forward to in the future.
Additionally, festivals may give you the option to sell or transfer your ticket to someone else. This seems like a great option if the festival has a lot of loyal fans who want to purchase tickets now to support the festival financially. However, it is probably otherwise a very difficult time to sell tickets to an event that isn’t happening for another year. If you do decide to take this route, be sure to use their provided transfer system or a company like CashorTrade.org.
Make a Donation: Help Save A Festival
For those who cannot attend the rescheduled festival but you would like to show your support, festivals have offered the option to donate your ticket. The festival can use the ticket funds to help support their staff, musicians, vendors and others who have lost income and employment over the past few months.
There are festivals who will not survive these hardships, so your donation could truly help keep your favorite festival alive!
There are also many ticket holders who are also struggling financially right now, and it seems the majority of festivals are taking that into consideration. Most festivals and concerts have a no-refund policy, but COVID-19 does create a unique situation for the industry. While refunds are highly discouraged if possible, contact the festival or venue directly for assistance. Look for deadlines for refund applications, as many festivals are only offering them for a limited time.
2020 Music Festival Changes and Updates
We will be updating this list on a regular basis. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if information needs to be edited or added.
- Boogie at the Broadmoor (March 20 – 22): POSTPONED www.boogieatthebroadmoor.com
- Suwannee Spring Reunion (March 19 – 22): CANCELED Tickets roll over to Spring Reunion 2021 or to Roots 2020
- Charleston Bluegrass Festival (March 20 – 21): RESCHEDULED for August 20 – 21, 2020.
- Winterwondergrass Tahoe/Squaw Valley (March 27 – 29): CANCELED until April 9 – 11, 2021. All bands from 2020 have been confirmed. Tickets roll over to 2021. Grass-After-Dark tickets will be refunded in 14 days; 3-day ski passes can be used in 2021. Email email@example.com for your 2020 stainless steel mug
- Blue, Brew, & ‘Que Festival (March 28): RESCHEDULED for August 8, 2020
- Winterwondergrass Stratton: Sugar & Strings (April 10 – 11): POSTPONED
- Terrapin Hill Farm/Music Venue Cabin Fever Reliever (April 16-19): RESCHEDULED for September 10 – 13, 2020. All previously purchased tickets will be transferred to the new date. If you cannot attend, please try to sell in their group.
- Big Sky Big Grass: CANCELED. Refunds were issued within 24 hours of the announcement. Pond Skim and Easter Sunrise Mass were also canceled at Big Sky, since the mountain is closed.
- Old Settlers Music Festival (April 16 – 19) POSTPONED Planning on rescheduling in fall, and will honor tix for the later date; no details on date yet.
- Albino Skunk Music Festival (April 16 – 18): CANCELED Tickets can be used for their fall fest or 2021.
- Charm City Bluegrass (April 24-25) POSTPONED You can donate to their GoFundMe campaign: bit.ly/CharmCityGOFUNDME). Planning on a date in Fall 2021.
- Sleepy Creek Presents SpringDig (May 1- 3) CANCELED Tickets can be used for HarFest 2020 or SpringDig 2021
- Beale Street Music Festival (May 1-3): RESCHEDULED for October 16 – 18. 42 of 65 top artists are already locked in for the fall! Tickets will roll over to the fall festival. You can also choose to donate to a good cause or get a full-refund: bit.ly/BealeStreetRefund
- New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival (April 23 – May 3) CANCELED Details for refunds and exchanges on their website.
- Shakti Immersion (May 14 – 18) RESCHEDULED for November 19 – 23, 2020.
- Hangout Music Festival (May 15 – 17): CANCELED Tickets rollover to 2021; To transfer or get a refund, fill out a request by May 15.
- DelFest: (May 21 – 24) POSTPONED until later date TBD. Visit their website for more info.
- Burning Can Beer Fest Colorado (May) RESCHEDULED for September 5, 2020
- Rooster Walk (May 21 -24) CANCELED Tickets rollover to May 27 – 30, 2021. Request a refund or donate your ticket back to the festival.
- California Roots (May 22 – 24) RESCHEDULED for Oct 9 – 11, 2020. Tickets can also be transferred to 2021 or 2022.
- Summer Camp Music Festival (May 22 – 24): RESCHEDULED to August 20 – 24, 2020. Headliners are all rescheduled, and location will be the same. Tickets will rollover to new date. Check back for more details.
- John Hartford Memorial Festival: (May 27 – 30): RESCHEDULED to Sept 30 – Oct 3; all tickets will rollover to new date, or you can use for 2021.
- Mountain Jam Festival: (May 29 -31) CANCELED. All tickets have been refunded.
- Campout For The Cause: (May 29 – 31): CANCELED. All tickets will rollover to June 4-6, 2021. An intimate community event, “The Pick-nic” has been scheduled for Oct 2-3,2020.
- Camp Greensky Music Festival (June 4 – 6) CANCELED. Tickets will rollover to June 3- 5, 2021.
- Pagosa Folk ‘N Bluegrass (June 5 – 7) CANCELED – no details posted for ticket information.
- Blue Ox Music Festival (June 11 – 13) RESCHEDULED for Aug 27 – 29, 2020. Tickets are good for this year or next; they are working with the ticket company to process refunds and rollover details.
- Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival (June 11–14) RESCHEDULED to September 24–27, 2020. All current tickets and onsite accommodations (camping, tent rentals, RV, etc.) will be honored for the new weekend. Refunds can be requested from 5/1 – 5/31/2020.
- The Hog Farm Hangout (June 12 – 15): RESCHEDULED to September 18 – 20, 2020. No details on refunds at this time.
- Palisade Bluegrass and Roots Festival (June 12 – 24); CANCELED. Tickets are good for June 11 – 13, 2021. Request refunds through Eventbrite.
- Telluride Bluegrass Festival (June 18 – 21): CANCELED. All tickets holders have been emailed information.
- SONIC BLOOM (June 20 – 24): CANCELED. Tickets good for June 17 – 20, 2021. Ticket holders are encouraged to hold on to tickets and get free access to virtual Sonic Bloom shows. Those who sell on CashorTrade.org will be entered to win VIP tickets. Refund requests due by 5/4.
- High Sierra Music Festival (July 2- 5) CANCELED Tickets are good for July 1 – 4, 2021. Apply for refund by 5/3.
- The Great Blue Heron Music Festival (July 5-7) CANCELED Tickets are good for July 2-4, 2021. There is an option to donate or get a refund. Details will be emailed.
- Pickin’ on Music Festivals – Pickin’ on Picknic (July 9 – 12) CANCELED. Tickets are good for July 8 – 11, 2021. Ticket holders will be contacted with options.
- 4848 Festival (July 9 – 11): CANCELED. Tickets are good for July 8-10, 2021; accepting refund requests effective immediately up until July 1.
- The Ride Festival (July 10 -12): CANCELED. Tickets are good for July 9 – 11, 2021 (refunds available until 4/26)
- Northwest String Summit (July 16 – 19, 2020): CANCELED. Tickets rollover to July 22 – 25, 2021; request refund by June 30, 2020.
- Pitchfork Music Festival (July 19 – 21, 2020): CANCELED. Ticket holders will be contacted directly via email with full refund options.
- Pickathon (August 1-4, 2020): CANCELED. Tickets are good for 2021 or 2022 (only emergency refunds offered). Tickets can be gifted/donated.
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Blue Ox Music Festival: Live from the Pines is a virtual festival with live onstage performances from Whispering Pines Campground in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.
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Local real estate agent and businesswoman Laura Levy has teamed up with LEAF, Lyons Emergency Assistance Fund to create the Gig Grant Fund for Lyons Artists and Musicians.