New Orleans Jazz Fest 2021 Cancelled Due to COVID-19

A Moment Captured at Jazz Fest 2019 (Photo: New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival)

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Fest, scheduled to run Oct. 8-17, has been cancelled due to COVID-19. A significant rise in COVID cases in Louisiana led festival organizers to cancel the annual event for the second time.

“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… will not occur as planned,” read a statement by the organizers on the Jazz Fest website. “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.”

In Louisiana, alone, there were more than 2,400 people hospitalized with the virus as of Aug. 6, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control also reported 6,116 new cases nationwide on the same day. On July 30, New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell reintroduced a mask mandate for the city and required all city employees to get vaccinated, while Gov. John Bel Edwards followed suit by reinstating the mandate statewide on Aug. 2. 

As of press time, only 37.4 percent of people in the state of Louisiana are vaccinated, and there have been more than 570,000 confirmed cases and more than 11,000 deaths within the state to date, according to John Hopkins University.

In 2020, organizers made the decision to move the festival, which usually takes place over two weekends in late April and early May, to October 2021. Jazz Fest is not the first major music festival to alter or cancel dates due to the new rise in COVID-19 cases. Coachella also pushed its two-weekend festival dates in 2021 to April 15-17 and April 22-24, 2022.

Artists scheduled to perform at this year’s Jazz Fest include The Rolling Stones, Foo Fighters, Stevie Nicks, H.E.R., Jimmy Buffett, Lizzo, and Dead and Company.

Ticketholders for both festival weekends, including the ones rolled over from 2020, will receive an email with information on refunds or rollover process for the 2022 fest, while Oct. 13 tickets, which featured The Rolling Stones, will get an automatic refund.

“We urge everyone to follow the guidelines and protocols put forth by public health officials,” said festival organizers on the Jazz Fest site, “so that we can all soon experience together the joy that is Jazz Fest.”

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