The show won't be going on for Lollapalooza this year. The music mega-festival, which is held in Chicago, announced on Twitter Tuesday that it's canceling this year's event. As expected, concerns over coronavirus were cited as the reason.
In the statement, Lollapalooza wrote that the "health and safety of our fans, artists, partners, staff and community" is their highest priority. However, they promise to return in 2021, promising they "will be working hard behind the scenes to deliver Chicago a spectacular celebration of Lollapalooza's 30th anniversary." The statement added that "it's difficult to imagine without our annual weekend together, sharing the undeniable energy generated when live music and our incredible community of fans unite." They also noted that the weekend of July 30 would feature a virtual fest, including archived performances from years past and never-before-seen footage.
While hardly a surprise, Lollapalooza's announcement comes after months of major event cancelations across the music industry, which started back in March. Some health experts have even cautioned that live concerts, in general, could be off the table until the fall of 2021. Center For American Progress oncologist and bioethicist Zeke Emanual spoke to The New York Times back in April that reopening "has to be done in stages," while keeping social distancing in mind.
"Certain kinds of construction, or manufacturing or offices, in which you can maintain six-foot distances are more reasonable to start sooner," Emanual explained. "Larger gatherings — conferences, concerts, sporting events — when people say they're going to reschedule this conference or graduation event for October 2020, I have no idea how they think that's a plausible possibility. I think those things will be the last to return. Realistically, we're talking fall 2021 at the earliest."
While most live music events have either been canceled or indefinitely postponed, there have been other issues beyond the lack of live music in people's lives. Namely, Ticketmaster has elected to not offer any refunds for those that have been put on hold. It appeared that the ticket mega-broker changed its terms of service earlier in 2020. Previously, their website stated ticket buyers could get a refund if a show is "postponed, rescheduled or canceled." However, the language was changed to eliminate both "postponed" and "rescheduled," meaning only canceled tours and events are entitled to a refund. Some artists have elected to cancel their tours outright to allow their fans to get their money back in the meantime.