Bonnaroo officially postponed its 2020 edition to next spring, announcing Thursday that it will move to an online-only festival in September and plan for its 20th anniversary event from June 17-20, 2021. Officials had previously postponed this years festival to September 24-27 due to the coronavirus pandemic, but opted to drop the in-person event entirely for the time being.
“Our annual time together on the Farm is nothing short of magical,” reads a statement posted at the event website. “But out of an abundance of caution and for the health and safety of all Bonnaroovians, artists, staff, partners and our community, this is a necessary reality.”
Consumers who purchased tickets for the festival from the box office, which experienced a rapid sellout this spring, will have the option of requesting a refund or holding on to their tickets for the 2021 edition. Those who opt to keep their tickets will receive free access to the virtual edition, scheduled for the same September 24-27 dates that event organizers had been hoping to hold the event before this week’s announcement.
This year’s festival had been expected to feather acts including metal outlet Tool, rising pop icon Lizzo, and psychedelic powerhouse Tame Impala. Pop’s Miley Cyrus and Lana Del Rey were on the bill, as well as EDM stars Flume and Bassnectar, rock’s Vampire Weekend and The 1975, and hip-hop artists Megan Thee Stallion and Da Baby. Plans for the virtual festival and what it will entail have not yet been announced.
“We’re planning a weekend-long virtual festival on the rescheduled Bonnaroo dates this fall (September 24-27, 2020) for a very special virtual Bonnaroo weekend including some of our favorite moments from past and present, along with some special surprises,” the website says. “Details will be coming soon.”
Tennessee has been among the states seeing a rise in Covid-19 cases, but Governor Bill Lee has resisted rolling back the state’s reopening process. The state is still expected to allow up to 4,000 people at a concert this weekend at Brushy Mountain State Penetentiary, and a NASCAR race originally scheduled for North Carolina was moved to the state due to its plans to allow thousands to attend in person.
“We’re in a really different place in this pandemic than we were four months ago,” Lee told reporters this week. “People know and have personal responsibility for whether or not they go to a bar or whether or not they go to an event. Or whether or not they wear a mask. Or whether or not they wash their hands. There’s personal responsibility and now we all know as a society what causes this, how it’s spread and how we can protect ourselves from it.”