After Postponement, Bonnaroo Officially Cancels 2020 Fest, Announces 2021 Dates

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If you’ve been following our regularly-updated guide to 2020’s rapidly changing music festival landscape over the past several months, this should come as no surprise, but long-running, nearby Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, our favorite summer fest to cover each and every year, has officially been canceled for 2020, following a short-lived postponement from its typical June weekend to late September.

The latest major bummer amidst a year of unprecedented crisis and tragedy, where the prospect of any type of large-scale live music event in 2020 in looking increasingly unlikely, the writing has been on the wall for weeks, as Bonnaroo is actually one of the last major events we cover to officially throw in the towel, even after many had tried to move spring and summer dates to the fall. Notably, this year marked Roo’s fastest sell-out ever thanks to a particularly impressive lineup, so when the fest returns June 17-20, 2021, as it has already announced to do, for its 20th anniversary, we have no doubt it’ll be in a strong position to rebound.

In line with other canceled fests who’ve already shored up plans for next year, Bonnaroo will honor 2020 tickets for next year’s event (almost certainly already guaranteeing 2021 will sell quickly as well), or ticket holders can request a refund before the end of July if preferred- head here for the all of the details.

Finally, to ensure that 2020 is not a total bust, Roo has announced a virtual fest set to take place during the originally postponed weekend dates, Sept. 24-27, 2020, promising “some of our favorite moments from past and present, along with some special surprises.” We’ll be sure to update you as more details are announced! And, like all of you, we’ll be counting down the days until next year’s festival season, when we hope things will be safe and normal again, and our coverage will return to what’s happening rather than what isn’t.

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No Country Guide to 2020’s Changing Music Festival Landscape

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When we first put together this guide to track changes, cancelations, and postponements for the 2020 festival season, it was back in mid-March, still in the early days of public and government response to the COVID-19 pandemic, when so much of the future seemed wholly uncertain. While we’ve maintained updates to this running list ever since, we’re bringing it back to the top of the page again, nearly three months later, as the picture for the remainder of 2020, in many ways still as uncertain as back then, begins to better come into focus, in the wake of the recent second cancelation of the Coachella, the first high-profile event to have moved to later in the year and then subsequently canceled once more.

While we don’t know if other postponed to fall events like Bonnaroo, Shaky Knees, or Beale Street might meet similar fates, the fact that the festival calendar so far has more or less been one giant rolling cancelation, coupled with rising COVID-19 cases in states who’ve begun reopening (Tennessee among them), certainly doesn’t instill a ton of confidence that we’ll see any major festivals occur in 2020. And not to be too pessimistic, especially at a moment where more significant things are happening in the world than music festival announcements, but while 2021 feels very far away, until a vaccine and contact tracing are a sure thing, there’s still no telling when mega gatherings will be safe and cleared to resume.

Still, the fact that some fests have already begun staking their claim to dates for next year, and even more have indicated that they’re hard at work (if you’re a ticketholder for a canceled event, many are offering to roll your tickets to 2021- be sure to check your e-mail), gives us a bit of hope that 2021 could become a much-needed do-over. For now, we’ll be keeping our fingers crossed that conditions could improve enough for some 2020 events to still go down (and that all that can’t will be back in full-force next year), and we’ll continue to update you on the latest developments below!

Original article, 3/18/20:

In the wake of of today’s announcement that Bonnaroo 2020 has been postponed to September, along with similar news that Atlanta’s Shaky Knees is moving to October, both coming after weeks of other festival news like the cancelation of Austin’s SXSW and Knoxville’s Big Ears, and the high-profile postponement of Coachella, we’ve decided to put together a partial guide to the 2020 music festival season, where you can more easily track cancellations, postponements, and events still scheduled to go on as planned, as well as conveniently scope out the updated calendar of dates.

It’s an unprecedented moment in American history (and a hard time for many who rely on live music for their livelihood), and as the situation with COVID-19 and the timetable necessary to combat it changes each day, it is important to be patient while each event works hard to determine what is the best decision for public safety. It’s still unclear when we can expect a return to normalcy, but at this point, the remaining spring events seem all but guaranteed to shift or cancel, as early summer begins to clear out as well. Not every festival will find a new date, and the ones that do may have slightly altered lineups, but we’re hoping that at the end of all of this, all will be in a position to return in 2021 despite the financial and logistical burden of these changes.

This is not a complete list of every American festival, but, rather, a rundown on most music fests local and regional to Nashville, along with some of our favorite national events that we watch and occasionally attend each season. Like the festivals themselves, the scope of our 2020 coverage at this point remains uncertain, but we hope, like many of you, to be back out and enjoying music festivals in a few months. We’ll do our best to keep this list updated, but for the latest information, hit the link at the end of each listing.

3/18: Originally ran this post, with spring and early summer cancelation and postponement info.

3/23: Updated information for Double Decker Arts Festival, Beale Street Music Festival, Homecoming, & Riverbend Festival.

3/24: Updated information for Firefly Music Festival, which has been canceled, and new dates for Double Decker Arts Festival.

3/26: Updated information for The Governor’s Ball, which has been canceled.

3/27: Updated postponement information for Beale Street Music Fest.

3/31: Updated cancelation information for CMA Fest and Boston Calling.

4/1: Updated cancelation, pending postponement information for Hangout Fest.

4/3: Updated cancelation info for The National’s Homecoming Festival in Cincinnati.

4/7: Updated cancelation info for Bunbury and BUKU (which had previously been postponed).

4/16: Updated cancelation info for New Orleans Jazz Fest (originally postponed), Hangout Fest (had previously explored postponement), and Forecastle Fest.

4/21: Updated cancelation info for New Orleans’ Voodoo Fest, the latest calendar cancelation we’ve seen so far.

4/24: Updated cancelation info for Hometown Rising, Louder Than Life, and Bourbon & Beyond, all in Louisville.

4/25: Updated cancelation info for Musicians Corner’s spring season.

5/6: Updated cancelation info for Pitchfork Music Festival.

5/27: Updated cancelation info for Muddy Roots Spring Weekender.

6/3: Updated cancelation info for Chattanooga’s Riverbend Festival, Alabama’s Furnace Fest.

6/9: Updated cancelation info for Lollapalooza.

6/11: Added confirmed 2021 dates for postponed and canceled events.

6/16: Updated cancelation/postponement info for Riot Fest and Atlanta’s Music Midtown.

6/19: Updated cancelation info for Shaky Knees, Beale Street, Railbird Fest, Moon River, and Double Decker Art Fest.

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CANCELED: SXSW (Austin, TX) – originally March 13-22 [more]

CANCELED: BUKU Music + Art Project (New Orleans, LA) – originally March 20-21; briefly postponed to Sept. 4-6 before cancelation [more]

CANCELED: Big Ears Festival (Knoxville, TN) – originally March 26-29 [more]

CANCELED: Rites of Spring (Nashville,TN) – originally April 17-18 [more]

CANCELED: New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival (New Orleans, LA) – originally April 23-May 3; briefly postponed without a date before cancelation [more]

CANCELED: Sweetwater 420 Fest (Atlanta, GA) – originally April 24-26 [more]

CANCELED: Shaky Boots (Atlanta, GA) – originally May 8-9 [more]

CANCELED: Homecoming (Cincinnati, OH) – originally May 8-9 [more]

CANCELED: Musicians Corner – Spring Season (Nashville, TN) – originally May 8 – June 27 [more]

CANCELED: Hangout Music Festival (Gulf Shores, AL) – originally May 15-17 [more]

CANCELED: Riverbend Festival (Chattanooga, TN) – originally May 27-30; briefly postponed without a date before cancelation [more]

CANCELED: Boston Calling (Boston, MA) – originally May 28-30 [more]

CANCELED: CMA Fest (Nashville, TN) – originally June 4-7 [more]

CANCELED: The Governor’s Ball Music Festival (New York, NY) – originally June 5-7 [more]

CANCELED: Bunbury Music Festival (Cincinnati, OH) – originally June 5-7 [more]

CANCELED: Muddy Roots Spring Weekender (Nashville, TN) – originally June 12-13 [more]

CANCELED: Firefly Music Festival (Dover, DE) – originally June 18-21 [more]

CANCELED: Forecastle Festival (Louisville, KY) – originally July 17-19 [more]

CANCELED: Pitchfork Music Festival (Chicago, IL) – originally July 17-19 [more]

CANCELED: Lollapalooza (Chicago, IL) – originally July 30-Aug. 2 [more]

CANCELED: Double Decker Arts Festival (Oxford, MS) – originally April 24-25; postponed to Aug. 14-15 before cancelation [more]

STILL SCHEDULED: Live on the Green (Nashville, TN) – Aug. 20-Sept. 6 [more]

CANCELED: Railbird Festival (Lexington, KY) – originally Aug. 22-23 [more]

STILL SCHEDULED: Muddy Roots Music Festival (Cookeville, TN) – Sept. 3-6 [more]

STILL SCHEDULED: Musicians Corner – Fall Season (Nashville, TN) – Sept. 3-24 [more]

CANCELED: Riot Fest (Chicago, IL) – originally Sept. 11-13 [more]

CANCELED: Moon River Music Festival (Chattanooga, TN) – Sept. 12-13 [more]

CANCELED: Hometown Rising Country Music & Bourbon Festival (Louisville, KY) – originally Sept. 12-13 [more]

CANCELED: Louder Than Life (Louisville, KY) – originally Sept. 17-20 [more]

CANCELED: Furnace Fest (Birmingham, AL) – originally Sept. 18-20; new 2021 dates of May 14-16 announced [more]

CANCELED: Music Midtown (Atlanta, GA) – Sept. 19-20 [more]

POSTPONED: Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival (Manchester, TN) – originally June 11-14; now Sept. 24-27 [more]

CANCELED: Bourbon & Beyond (Louisville, KY) – originally Sept. 25-27 [more]

CANCELED: Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival (Franklin, TN) – originally Sept. 26-27 [more]

STILL SCHEDULED: Nashville Boogie Vintage Weekender (Nashville, TN) – Oct. 2-4 [more]

STILL SCHEDULED: Austin City Limits Music Festival (Austin, TX) – Oct. 2-4 + 9-11 [more]

CANCELED: Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival (Indio, CA) – originally April 10-12 + 17-19; postponed to Oct. 9-11 + 16-18 before cancelation [more]

CANCELED: Shaky Knees (Atlanta, GA) – originally May 1-3; postponed to Oct. 16-18 before cancelation [more]

CANCELED: Beale Street Music Festival (Memphis, TN) – originally May 1-3; postponed to Oct. 16-18 before cancelation [more]

CANCELED: Voodoo Music + Arts Experience (New Orleans, LA) – originally Oct. 30-Nov. 1 [more]

STILL SCHEDULED: The Fest (Gainesville, FL) – Oct. 30-Nov. 1 [more]

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CONFIRMED 2021 FESTIVAL DATES:

BUKU Music + Art Project (New Orleans, LA) – March 19-20, 2021; lineup announcement coming fall 2020, aiming for similar lineup [more]

Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival (Indio, CA) – April 9-11 + 16-18, 2021; honoring 2020 tickets [more]

Sweetwater 420 Fest (Atlanta, GA) – April 23-25, 2021; honoring 2020 tickets and largely keeping lineup intact [more]

Beale Street Music Festival (Memphis, TN) – April 30-May 2, 2021; honoring 2020 tickets [more]

Furnace Fest (Birmingham, AL)
– May 14-16, 2021; honoring 2020 tickets and attempting to keep lineup intact [more]

Hangout Music Festival (Gulf Shores, AL) – May 21-23, 2021; honoring 2020 tickets and attempting to keep lineup intact [more]

Boston Calling (Boston, MA) –  May 28-30, 2021; honoring 2020 tickets [more]

CMA Fest (Nashville, TN) – June 10-13, 2021; honoring 2020 tickets [more]

Railbird Festival (Lexington, KY) – Aug. 21-22, 2021; honoring 2020 tickets [more]

Riot Fest (Chicago, IL) – Sept. 17-19, 2021; honoring 2020 tickets and retaining My Chemical Romance, with initial 2021 lineup already announced [more]

Music Midtown (Atlanta, GA) – Sept. 18-19, 2021; honoring 2020 tickets and retaining My Chemical Romance as headliner [more]

Voodoo Music + Arts Experience (New Orleans, LA) – Oct. 29-31, 2021; honoring 2020 tickets [more]

Notelle Returns with Dark, Manic, Industrial New Single “Alive”

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We write often about Nashville’s impressive, vibrant pop scene, and the plethora of talented and diverse artists who comprise it, though, despite their many unique approaches and undeniable personality, it would be fair to say that if you zoom out and look at local pop as a collective, the majority of the most buzzed-about acts are much more alike than they are different. Which is why when we come across an artist like self-described “dark industrial nightmare pop” singer Notelle, it feels like a genuine, revelatory, breath of fresh air.

Not exactly new to the scene, Notelle has been working with DJs and producers around the world for more than five years, amassing millions of upon millions of streams, high-profile playlist adds, and praise in both the pop and EDM world for all of her collaborative efforts. Only more recently, however, has the buzzworthy singer been shifting her focus more towards her solo work, first catching our ear in late 2018 with her stellar formal debut “Power,” and further expanding her sound throughout last year with a string of fantastic subsequent tracks.

Settling onto a sound that echos the industrial, etherial dark prowess of acts like Nine Inch Nails in equal measure with the electro-laced, contemporary dark pop stylings of artists like Billie Eilish, Notelle has managed to bring a darker, edgier, raw, and more macabre dimension to the local pop landscape. Earlier this year, she doubled down on her brooding and dark ethos with a Slenderman inspired tune called “Come for Me,” and, today, Notelle returns with another great new effort- “Alive”

Gritty, industrial, and darkly atmospheric, “Alive” embodies those two above influences perhaps more than any of her other material to date (if Billie Eilish were literally tasked with recording a NIN tribute, we imagine it would go something just like this), and is undoubtedly our favorite Notelle song yet, with it earnest, raw, and manic emotional energy. “Written on brink of hysteria, ‘Alive’ tells how truly electrifying madness can feel,” we’re told in a press release, “Interlacing themes of toxic love with the societal habit to discredit women’s emotions, [‘Alive’] manages to package up honest, gut-wrenching self-awareness in nervy, sonic insanity.”

Hear Notelle’s “Alive” below, and find it on your streaming platform of choice!

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[NO COUNTRY PREMIERE] Bre Kennedy Practices Safe Social Distancing in Homemade Video for New Single “Feel It All”

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The past month of social distancing amidst the spread of COVID-19 has, undoubtedly, been an unprecedented situation for everyone around the world-  difficult, stressful, and a financial burden for even those lucky enough to be healthy, and beyond tragic for those who’ve suffered illness or lost loved ones. Like many segments of industry affected, musicians and other creatives, rendered without the ability to perform live, to collaborate with others in person, to operate in a full business capacity behind the scenes, especially here in Nashville, have been working hard to adapt and make the best of our current reality, and through live-streams and digital concerts, online merch sales, digital releases, and more, they’ve been doing an inspired job.

Though not the first artist we’ve seen record a new single in quarantine, local indie pop singer-songwriter Bre Kennedy just took an unbelievably collaborative approach for someone stuck at home with her latest, “Feel It All,” recruiting her band one friends to all record their own respective parts at home, bringing to life a song penned last year with absolutely stunning effect (we honestly never would’ve guessed this was recorded in such a remote way if we didn’t know otherwise- ah, the marvels of modern technology). To make the process all the more special, Bre and friends documented the process on webcams and iPhones, with Kennedy recruiting regular collaborator Jason Lee Denton to help craft a music video for the track (along with artwork and photos, like the one above, from Aliegh Shields Denton) using behind the scenes and home-shot footage. And, today, to coincide with the single’s official release, we’re beyond thrilled to bring you an exclusive premiere of the video!

“I wrote ‘Feel It All’ last year in a write with Petey Martin,” Bre explains. “After I wrote it, I knew I wanted to eventually rework it for my artist project, I just didn’t know when. I had a dream a few weeks before quarantine happened, that my band and I recorded the song, more piano-driven and obviously, the next few weeks would turn into the nightmare that is COVID-19 and I would be in lockdown in my apartment, away from my band, away from my friends with nothing else to do but create from home. SO I called my band and asked my band and said ‘let’s pass this session around and create ‘Feel It All’ from our own homes during this lockdown and take footage to remember this crazy time.’ And we did! We made a whole song, demoed, produced, mixed all from our own home studios. It was a cool experiment and ultimately gave me hope and something to work towards in this dark time. The song is about realizing that I’d rather feel something, even if it’s heavy, hurts, or hard to feel, than nothing at all. Life’s hard sometimes, sometimes it feels like the world is on fire and there’s nothing I can do but FEEL THAT… and that’s okay.”

Written by Bre Kennedy and Petey Martin, and produced and created by Kennedy, Kyle Dreaden, Jake Finch, Collin Pastore, Andrew Brown, Matt Koziol, and Hadley Kennary, with mixing and mastering by Kyle Dreaden, “Fell It All” feels like a logical epilogue to Bre’s excellent recent sophomore EP, Twenty Something (a followup to last year’s stunning debut, Jealous of Birds). With her powerful voice and sweeping, contemporary yet timeless indie pop style, along with a penchant for earnest, resonant, vulnerable, and emotionally nuanced songwriting, Bre Kennedy has fast become one of the most essential rising singer-songwriters in Nashville’s robust pop scene, and with her latest, a lovely addition to your quarantine playlists, especially with its timely thematic message, she’s only further cementing that status.

Watch Bre’s wonderfully home-shot and collaborative new video for “Fell It All” below, tune into Exit/In Instagram Live today, April 17, at 7 p.m. to watch Bre premiere the single, and keep an eye out for new music, including an in-the-works debut full-length, soon!

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[NO COUNTRY PREMIERE] Caroline Culver Gets “Honest” in New Lyric Video

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Atlanta raised, Nashville based indie folk rock singer Caroline Culver made her stunning debut just a few weeks ago with vulnerable and earnest first single “Honest,” a haunting and heartfelt navigation of maintaining an honest and true sense of self and emotional clarity in the midst of a relationship that isn’t right. If you haven’t yet, you can stream the single now on your platform of choice, but, today, we’re beyond thrilled to bring you a special new release from Caroline- an exclusive premiere of her brand new lyric video for the single!

“It’s easy to lose sight of who you are when you’re with the wrong person,” Culver explains, “So I wrote this song about not being real with yourself and the relationship you are in. It’s also about finding my honest self expression as an artist.” True to the ethos of the song, Caroline’s lyric video is atmospheric and personal, a sort of stylish and timeless and reflective spot that shows the singer lost in thought, pacing around a decorated room with an almost surreal, retro presentation and editing style.

“‘Honest’ is about being in denial and hiding from your real emotions,” Culver adds, on the song’s broader meaning, “Whether those feelings stem from a toxic relationship or something else; I think no matter what- the most important thing to do in life is get real- confront these things. This song grows a new meaning in my life as I continue to sit with it. As a person, I strive to be honest with everything I do; I hope to be transparent with my songs. So ‘Honest’ has really helped me find my self expression as an artist.”

An impressive newcomer in the local scene who we’ll surely be keeping a close eye on, as she channels the wistful, confessional folk rock of Phoebe Bridgers and the atmospheric pop prowess and mysterious allure of Banks, with a dash of edgier rock and roll bite, “Honest” is, already, one of our favorite local singles of the year, brought to life with even more texture and palette in Caroline Culver’s first lyric video. Watch that brand new video below, and follow Caroline on the social media links at the bottom of the page for further updates!

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