CMA Fest has officially been canceled for the second year in a row due to the coronavirus pandemic, with the Country Music Association announcing on Tuesday that the 2021 festival will not happen. "After thoughtful deliberation, we are saddened to share that CMA Fest will not take place in 2021," the organization said in a statement.
"We know our fans near and far have hoped that the festival could safely return this summer, and while we are encouraged to see COVID-19 vaccines becoming more widely available, we still face several challenges that prevent us from bringing our fans around the world the CMA Fest experience they have come to expect," the message continued. "But rest assured, we have already started planning what will be the most EPIC celebration of Country Music next summer." The 2022 festival is scheduled to take place June 9-12.
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Fans who originally purchased four-day passes for CMA Fest 2020 were given the option to rollover their passes to 2021, and should they choose, the passes will still be honored for CMA Fest 2022. Fans who purchased through Ticketmaster or the CMA Fest Box Office will receive an email in the next 24-48 hours with further information about retaining their passes or requesting a full refund. More information can be found at CMAfest.com.
"We appreciate your patience, understanding and ongoing support of CMA Fest and Country Music as we look forward to the days when we can come together again," the statement concluded. In place of the 2020 festival, the Country Music Association aired CMA Best of Fest, a television special looking back at memorable CMA Fest performances over the years. Due to the scope of CMA Fest, which spans a number of stages in downtown Nashville over four days, it would be extremely difficult to move the event to later in the year in 2021. It is also likely that there will still be capacity and travel restrictions in the coming months, and CMA Fest typically draws attendees from all 50 states and over 30 other countries.
CMA Fest is one of multiple music festivals that have already been canceled for 2021 including Coachella and Stagecoach, while others, including Summerfest and Bonnaroo, have been postponed until later in the year.