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The 2020 editions of Madrid’s Mad Cool festival and Paris’ Rock en Seine have been cancelled as Covid-19 continues to wreak havoc on Europe’s biggest live music events
By IQ on 13 May 2020
Spain’s Mad Cool and France’s Rock en Seine are the latest high-profile calamities of the 2020 festival season, as organisers call off their events this summer due to the continuing coronavirus crisis.
The cancellation of Live Nation-promoted Mad Cool (60,000-cap.), which was due to take place from 8 to 11 July with acts including Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish and the Killers, follows that of fellow Spanish festivals Sónar on Friday (8 May) and Primavera Sound on Monday (11 May).
“A few days ago we told you that the possibility of celebrating Mad Cool was very slight,” reads a statement from organisers. “Today, we have to tell you, with the utmost sincerity, that the festival will not take place on the scheduled dates.
“As the situation has evolved, we have worked on a number of alternatives. The most real and feasible option is to postpone the festival for the same dates in 2021.”
Organisers say they are waiting for the government to decree force majeure “so we can resolve things in the proper way”.
Despite announcing its lockdown exit plan, the Spanish government has yet to detail when large-scale events such as festivals may take place again, preventing cancellation due to force majeure and leading to criticism from much of the country’s live music industry.
“Today, we have to tell you, with the utmost sincerity, that the festival will not take place on the scheduled dates”
Rock en Seine (40,000-cap.), due to take place from 28 August to 1 September in Paris, was also called off last night, following the extension of the French government’s ban on large events until September.
The 2020 edition of the festival was set to feature Rage Against the Machine and Run the Jewels.
“Over the past sixteen years Rock en Seine has cemented itself as one of the biggest festivals in France,” reads a statement from organisers. “Unfortunately it has become clear that these three days cannot take place in the format we had planned due to the health measures currently in place because of the ongoing crisis.”
Organisers state they are working on “an imaginative, creative, strong and symbolic culture and music event for as soon as health rules permit”, in addition to hosting the festival in its usual format in 2021.
The French government recently established a ‘festival fund’ to assist events forced to cancel due to the coronavirus outbreak, as well as dedicating an additional €50 million in aid to the music sector.
Yesterday also saw the cancellations of Festival Republic’s Reading and Leeds festivals in the UK.
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