MILWAUKEE (CelebrityAccess) — Summerfest, the largest music festival in North America, has been canceled for 2020 with organizers citing “ongoing uncertainty surrounding large gatherings due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“After careful, diligent, and thoughtful consideration and out of an abundance of caution for the health and safety of our community – including artists, fans, vendors, participants and staff – Summerfest presented by American Family Insurance will not take place in September 2020, as previously announced.”
The festival, which has been a fixture of summertime in Milwaukee for five decades, regularly attracts 800,000 people across 11 days of music to the city’s downtown.
The festival, which typically happens in the last week of June, had already been rescheduled this year to take place in September.
2020 will be the first time the festival has been canceled in its 53-year history.
In a statement announcing the cancellation, Don Smiley, President & CEO of Summerfest organizer Milwaukee World Festival said:
“It is our honor to be responsible for such a storied tradition. With five decades of festivals, countless legendary performances and millions of memories, Milwaukee World Festival, Inc. explored numerous options to ensure the Summerfest tradition could continue in 2020, in a safe and healthy manner.
“Yet, given the information available today, and the uncertainty surrounding very large gatherings, we cannot in good conscience proceed with the festival this year. The immediate future presents multiple levels of risk for our fans, and we choose the side of safety.
“This announcement comes after our staff, sponsors and vendors have worked tirelessly over the past two months to reformulate the festival for the rescheduled 2020 dates. Our commitment to doing everything possible to preserve the social and economic impact of $186 million, which Summerfest generates annually is paramount, yet the uncertainties are too great.
“Our present situation is especially disheartening, given that the new $53 million American Family Insurance Amphitheater was scheduled to open on June 24, ready to host over 20 superstars during and after Summerfest. We are grateful to American Family Insurance and all the donors who made this new venue possible, and look forward to welcoming artists and fans in 2021.”
The dates of Summerfest 2021 will be announced in the coming weeks, organizers said.