No Country Guide to 2020’s Changing Music Festival Landscape

Festivals2020-620Photo by Andrew Ha.

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.

3/23: 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.

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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 – June 27 [more]

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

POSTPONED: Riverbend Festival (Chattanooga, TN) – originally May 27-30; new dates TBA [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]

STILL SCHEDULED: Muddy Roots Spring Weekender (Nashville, TN) – 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]

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

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

POSTPONED: Double Decker Arts Festival (Oxford, MS) – originally April 24-25; now Aug. 14-15 [more]

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

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

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

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

STILL SCHEDULED: 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]

STILL SCHEDULED: Furnace Fest (Birmingham, AL) – Sept. 18-20 [more]

STILL SCHEDULED: 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]

STILL SCHEDULED: Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival (Franklin, TN) – 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]

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

POSTPONED: Shaky Knees (Atlanta, GA) – originally May 1-3; now Oct. 16-18 [more]

POSTPONED: Beale Street Music Festival (Memphis, TN) – originally May 1-3; now Oct. 16-18 [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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