Each summer, Ravinia’s concert series lights up Illinois’ Highland Park, however, as the coronavirus pandemic rages on, organizers had to call off this year’s celebration.
Ravinia has operated annually since 1904 – aside for three years amid the Great Depression – and is named the oldest outdoor music festival in the U.S. Now, 120 events have been cancelled this year from May 30 to September 15. These include the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s annual summer residency, as well as performances from acts like Carrie Underwood, John Legend, Diana Ross, Willie Nelson, John Fogerty, and Sheryl Crow.
Additionally, 35 artists were slated to make debuts during the season, including My Morning Jacket’s frontman Jim James, Ziggy Marley, Dispatch, and Teddy Abrams. President and CEO Welz Kauffman was slated to celebrate his 20th and final season with the festival. Kauffman said the decision was made following “the health and safety of the festival’s artists, staff and neighbors,” noting that the virus “has moved very quickly.”
“As much as I can do to put together a terrific 2021, that’s what I’ll focus on in the next months,” Kauffman told The Chicago Tribune.
Across the country, hundreds of festivals have been postponed or cancelled due to coronavirus concerns. See our full, updating list here.