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North American events moved to later dates as COVID-19 continues

Concerts and events across North America are being pushed back to autumn as COVID-19 continues to enforce event bans, capacity restrictions or even venue closures.

Producers of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival have postponed this year’s event to October 8‐17. The 2021 festival was originally scheduled for April 22 to May 2.

Quint Davis, producer and director of Jazz Fest, said: “We are all ready to get together again and share that special spirit that lives at Jazz Fest. It’s taking longer than we want, but we’ll all have our celebration when the time comes.

“Your health, along with the health of our musicians, food and crafts vendors, and all of the folks that work to make the magic happen, remains the priority as we plan the return of Jazz Fest.”

Elsewhere, the Staples Center in Los Angeles currently lists its first gig as Grupo Firme, a regional Mexican act, over two nights at the end of March. However, it remains to be seen whether these events will be able to go ahead with the current COVID-19 situation. April’s rap/hip-hop old school Krush Groove Festival at the arena, which is home to the NBA’s LA Lakers and Clippers and NHL’s LA Kings, has already been cancelled due to the pandemic.

However, after that the next gig is not until August 11 and 12 when Justin Bieber takes to the stage as part of his World Tour 2021. The Weeknd is scheduled to be at the Staples Center from August 13 to 15.

The 20,000-capacity venue has continued to host NBA and NHL games behind closed doors. The Lakers announced that games will be held without fans until further notice, though it plans to work with state and local officials to “come up with a plan to safely welcome fans back to Staples Center” while also adhering to state, local and NBA guidelines.

Over on the East Coast of the US, Brooklyn’s Barclays Center’s first non-sport event with fans is a gig on April 2, called ‘April Fools Comedy Jam’. Following that event, if it manages to go ahead as planned, is The Weeknd and Justin Bieber in July.

Elsewhere, the pandemic has caused the cancellation of Fortress Festival in Fort Worth, Texas. It was scheduled to take place from April 24-25 and was to feature Diplo and Miguel.

Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival in California, which is currently scheduled to take place between April 9-11 & 16-18, has reportedly been in talks about moving the event to October. Los Angeles-based concert promoter Goldenvoice has already moved Coachella twice, first from April 2020 to October 2020 and then again to April 2021.

The promoter has attempted to keep the lineup in tact, in part because it means the event is “postponed” and not “cancelled,” so they do not need to refund all of the tickets.

Electric Forest in Michigan has announced it is sticking to its typical June timeframe, but advises that could change.

In addition, South By Southwest, scheduled to take place between March 16 and 21 in Austin, Texas, currently has no live performances announced, with less than two months to go. It has, however, announced it is launching SXSW Online, featuring conference keynotes and sessions, screenings, showcases, networking, and exhibitions.

Image: Alan Paone / CC BY-NC 2.0 / Edited for size