Essence Festival is the latest major gathering to face postponement in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Organizers behind the New Orleans-based music and cultural festival maintained earlier this month that they would adhere to their scheduled dates of July 1-5. However, escalating fears over the spread of COVID-19 has pushed the festival to a later date.

“Based on developments over the past couple of weeks, including updates from our city and health partners, we are officially announcing that we will move the 2020 ESSENCE Festival of Culture closer to the fall,” organizers shared in a statement.

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Official dates for the rescheduled festival will be announced shortly and previously purchased tickets will be honored the same. Organizers also confirmed that the entire lineup of musical talent are confirmed for the fall bash at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Bruno Mars and Janet Jackson will headline the event, with appearances from Janelle Monae, Patti LaBelle, Swizz Beatz, Ari Lennox and more.

“We greatly appreciate the Essence family for working with the City of New Orleans and Louisiana as we face this ongoing public health crisis,” said Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards. “We have enjoyed a long-standing relationship with the Essence family and look forward to continuing the celebration later this year.”

“The ESSENCE Festival of Culture is a beloved and highly-anticipated time of year in the City of New Orleans,” echoed New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell. “At the forefront of everything we do, public health and public safety are always our top priorities. With the significant spread of COVID-19, we are taking every precaution in the best interest of our residents, visitors, and all who attend and make ESSENCE the worldwide phenomenon that it is. We look forward to welcoming everyone back – from near and far – and express our deepest gratitude to all who are helping our city, state and nation get through this rapidly-evolving crisis.”

New Orleans has recently become one of the country’s virus hot spots with over 1,300 confirmed cases and counting. Louisiana has seen its total cases jump to over 3,500 and reported over 150 fatalities.

Essence Festival now joins an ever-growing list of festivals to be postponed to the fall, including Coachella, Summerfest and another Big Easy bash, the New Orleans Jazz Festival.

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