2021 Music Festivals Are Now In Danger

As dance music fans come to terms with the whole 2020 festival season possibly being a loss due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, those within the industry are reportedly fearing worse—that even 2021 is in danger of cancelation. 

The disheartening news arose on Tuesday afternoon via the festival news and rumors source the Festive Owl. In a series of tweets, the Festive Owl pointed out that heading into July, events in the United States are continuing to shift towards 2021 and that someone “from within a major fest” uttered the following:

“Things are not going in a positive direction. If trends don’t turn around before Fall. We will be on the [precipices] of starting to lose Spring/Summer 21 events.

Many music fans are still in midst of digesting all of 2020s ongoing cancellations, but for us in the festival industry. 

2021 is coming at us like an asteroid unless things start to dramatically improve by years end.

We are terrified by the prospect of a 2nd Fall outbreak.”


Posted by The Festive Owl on Tuesday, 30 June 2020

The Festive Owl did not name the source. As with any anonymous information, take it with a grain of salt. But also note that the Festive Owl has accurately purveyed many festival developments in the past.  

Beyond America

It was a “sobering conversation,” according to the Festive Owl, and underlies how quickly 2021 festival issues are creeping up “if America can not get itself under some kind of maintainable outbreak control.”

A Twitter user asked if the anonymous quotes mean that America will have a scuffed or no festival season this year while the rest of the world resumes with events. 

The Festive Owl replied that the comments were specific to the U.S. and that the festival landscape in other regions will depend on “which countries do and do not have things under control.”

International travel restrictions continue, so Americans seemingly will have no reprieve from the festival drought.

Another Twitter user floated the thought that the U.S. could be on pace to reaching heard immunity by spring 2021. 

But the Festive Owl replied that even if herd immunity were achieved by then, planning for spring or summer 2021 would be “impossible.” Planning for many festivals begins immediately after the current edition wraps up. 

In a reply to another Twitter user, the Festive Owl reiterated

“At the rate things are heading currently … we will VERY quickly be on the precipice of losing 2021 if things don’t turn around.”

Fall Festivals?

Such talk may be depressing, but not surprising for those who have been following the Festive Owl’s feed. 

Last Thursday, the Festive Owl tweeted that the upward trend of Covid-19 cases across the U.S. means the odds of the remaining 2020 festivals happening “is little to none.”

Some states have halted their reopening plans and second coronavirus outbreak predictions abound. That threatens the small window for a handful of festivals planned in the late summer and early fall, before colder weather and the presumed second wave.

Among the festivals still standing are Dancefestopia in Kansas City and Imagine Music Festival in Atlanta in September, and Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas in October. Bonnaroo canceled its September dates last week and Austin City Limits canceled its October dates on Wednesday. 

Last Wednesday, the Festive Owl shared that in these unprecedented times, the 2021 lineup season has already arrived. 

“From what I’ve been told, expect (Summer) 2021 lineups to come at non-traditional times as surviving events attempt to stop the financial bleeding + get ahead of each other for the crucial year to come,” the owl tweeted. 

But that quickly became old news, with the new quotes about potentially losing 2021 festival season. 

2022, anyone?