After all, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival will not return this year amid a wave of new cases of COVID-19 in Louisiana, driven by the highly contagious delta variant, organizers said on Sunday.
The festival, which is traditionally held in the spring, was scheduled to take place October 8-10 and October 15-17 after being canceled last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
But organizers cited the “current exponential growth” of new COVID-19 cases in the city and region, as well as an ongoing public health emergency, as they announced that the festival will not go as planned.
They also urged people to follow public health guidelines and protocols to limit the spread of COVID “so that we can soon experience the joy that is Jazz Fest together.”
âWe are now looking forward to next spring, when we will present the Festival during its traditional period,â the organizers said in a press release, adding that the dates for next year are April 29 to May 8.
The star-studded lineup included Stevie Nicks, Foo Fighters, Jimmy Buffett, Lizzo, Demi Lovato, HER, Norah Jones, The Beach Boys, Ludacris, Melissa Etheridge, Wu-Tang Clan feat. The Soul Rebels and the Isley Brothers. It was not clear if any of the performers would postpone their scheduled appearances on the new dates.
The cancellation comes nine days after tickets went on sale for a Rolling Stones appearance on October 13. The Stones were scheduled to make headlines on the very first Wednesday at Jazz Fest.
Ticket holders for the two-weekend event will receive an email this week with details on refund and rescheduling options. All tickets for the show on Wednesday October 13 will be automatically refunded.
Jazz Fest celebrates the native music and culture of New Orleans and Louisiana. The very first New Orleans Jazz Fest was held in 1970 with performances by gospel singer Mahalia Jackson, Duke Ellington, Pete Fountain and Fats Domino, among others.
It takes place at the Fair Grounds Race Course, where several stages are erected for fans to congregate in and around.
The music encompasses almost every style imaginable: blues, R&B, gospel, Cajun, Zydeco, Afro-Caribbean, folk, Latin, rock, rap, contemporary and traditional jazz, country, bluegrass and everything in between.
Louisiana recorded the highest number of new cases per capita across the country in the past week, according to data from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention which shows Louisiana has an average of 653 COVID infections. -19 per 100,000 inhabitants.
Louisiana set new coronavirus hospitalization records for a fourth day on Friday amid the state’s worst outbreak since the start of the pandemic. The state health ministry reported that 2,421 people were in state hospitals with COVID-19, more than eight times the number of hospitalizations in early July.