New Orleans Jazz Festival Cancels Over COVID-19 Concerns, Moves to Spring 2022

Aerials from the lift during the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival 2018

The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival has canceled its annual event due to COVID-19 concerns in the region. Organizers released a statement on the official website, announcing the reason for this difficult decision.

The Louisiana music festival was set to take place over two weekends, on October 8-10 and October 15-17, 2021

“As a result of the current exponential growth of new COVID cases in New Orleans and the region and the ongoing public health emergency, we must sadly announce that the 2021 edition of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival presented by Shell, scheduled to take place October 8 –17, 2021, will not occur as planned.”

This cancellation is not the first for the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. The Jazz event canceled its 2020 edition due to the pandemic as well .

“We now look forward to next spring, when we will present the Festival during its traditional timeframe. Next year’s dates are April 29 – May 8, 2022.”

Ticketholders for both weekend events will have the opportunity to roll over or refund their passes. An email will be sent this week explaining both processes. Ticketholders who do not respond to the email will have their passes automatically refunded on Wednesday, October 13.

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival 2017
Attendees gather at New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival 2017.

Festival Cancellations and The Debate on Implementing Vaccine Passport/Negative COVID-19 Test Requirements

Festivalgoers have seen a rise in event cancellations in recent months, despite the gradual return of music concerts. European festivals such as Mysterland, Tomorrowland, and Pukkelpop canceled their 2021 events due to COVID-19 concerns and government restrictions.

The U.S. as a whole is undergoing debate on the use of negative COVID-19 tests or vaccine passports for entry into events, in an attempt to combat rising cases and the disruption that the delta variant is having on everyday life. Festivals including Summerfest and Bonnaroo have already implemented these kinds of policies to fight in the battle of stalling the pandemic.

Live Nation implemented a new policy giving artists the option to require vaccination cards and negative coronavirus tests at their concerts as well. Variety released the “best practices” document signed by Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino. The report shares details on the new protocol, along with vaccination requirements for the company’s staff and employees. These practices will go into effect on October 4.