fbpx

PROFILE

MY SUBSCRIPTION

LOGOUT

x

The latest industry news to your inbox.

    

I'd like to hear about marketing opportunities

    

I accept IQ Magazine's Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

Virtual event to replace cancelled Burning Man 2020

Burning Man is the latest US festival to be called off due to the coronavirus pandemic, with organisers announcing that the famous Black Rock City will take the form of a “virtual metropolis” instead this year.

The countercultural gathering was set to take place from 30 August to 7 September in Nevada’s Black Rock desert.

“After much listening, discussion, and careful consideration, we have made the difficult decision not to build Black Rock City in 2020,” reads a statement on the Burning Man website.

“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.”

The event, often dubbed as an “anti-festival”, will go ahead online, however, with fans invited to enter the Virtual Black Rock City 2020, in keeping with the event’s 2020 theme, the Multiverse.

“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”

Unsure what form the online gathering will take, the Burning Man team says although it “will likely be messy and awkward with mistakes”, the virtual event will also be “engaging, connective, and fun”.

The first round of Burning Man ticket sales took place last month, with 4,000 tickets prices at $1,400 sold during the ‘FOMO’ ticket sale in March, as well as those sold through Direct Group Sale (DGS). The event’s main ticket sale was postponed earlier this month.

Organisers state they are “committed” to providing refunds to “those who need them”, adding that they hope some “will consider donating all or a portion of your ticket value, and/or making a tax-deductible donation to (non-profit festival organiser) Burning Man Project”.

“Substantial” staff layoffs, pay reductions and other cost-cutting measures will be needed to ensure the organisation remains operational into next year’s event season, say organisers.

Burning Man joins other major US events to be cancelled due to the Covid-19 outbreak, including South by Southwest, Governors Ball, Boston Calling, Firefly Festival and Ultra Miami, with Coachella, Bonnaroo, BottleRock, New Orleans’ Jazz Fest and Electric Daisy Carnival Las Vegas all pushed back to later in the year.

Photo: Bureau of Land Management/Flickr (CC BY 2.0) (cropped)


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

More US festivals pushed back to autumn

Following the postponement earlier this month of California’s Coachella, other major US music festivals are falling prey to the coronavirus outbreak, with Bonnaroo, BottleRock and the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival among those to have rescheduled for later this year.

Live Nation/AC Entertainment’s Bonnaroo Music & Artists Festival, based on the ‘Farm’ in Manchester, Tennessee, announced yesterday (18 March) it will take place from 24 to 27 September instead of the originally scheduled 11–14 June.

Bonnaroo, one of the longest-running multi-genre music festivals in North America, was to have been headlined by Tool, Lizzo and Tame Impala, with Miley Cyrus, Flume, Bassnectar, Lana Del Rey and Vampire Weekend also confirmed. It is unclear if all artists will play the rescheduled event.

“Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival will be rescheduled to take place September 24–27, 2020, out of an abundance of caution and for the health and safety of all Bonnaroovians, artists, staff and our community,” reads a statement from the festival.

“Please continue to radiate positivity through this uncharted time in our world,” it adds. “Thank you for your continued support and we look forward to seeing you on the Farm this fall.”

BottleRock Napa Valley, originally scheduled for 22–24 May, has, like Coachella, been pushed back to October (albeit a week earlier, 2–4 October).

“The health and safety of the community, our musicians, festival fans, participants, sponsors and staff are paramount”

“It is with great pleasure we can announce that all our headliners, including Red Hot Chili Peppers, Stevie Nicks, Dave Matthews Band, Miley Cyrus, Khalid, Anderson Paak and the Free Nationals, Zedd and more are confirmed for the rescheduled dates,” the Napa, California, festival – also a Live Nation event – says in a statement.

“Additional line-up updates will be announced as soon as possible,” BottleRock adds.

The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, whose 2020 line-up features the Who, Foo Fighters, Stevie Nicks, Lizzo, Lionel Richie and Dead and Company, is also now taking place this autumn, though organiser New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation has to announce the new dates.

“At the direction of the City of New Orleans authorities, in response to ongoing Covid-19 health concerns, the 2020 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival will not occur this April and May, as scheduled,” reads a statement from the festival. “The health and safety of the community, our musicians, festival fans, participants, sponsors and staff are paramount, and we urge everyone to follow the guidelines and protocols put forth by public health officials.”

Jazz Fest was originally scheduled for 23 April to 3 May.

The postponements follow the outright cancellations of the 2020 editions of South by Southwest, Ultra Music Festival Miami and the UK’s Glastonbury Festival.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.