The latest music festival to give up on 2021 is Spain’s popular Primavera Sound Barcelona, which called off this year’s installment due to the pandemic. Tickets can be transferred to the 2022 edition, the lineup for which will be revealed on June 2; refunds will be available after that date. It is likely that many fans will be redeeming tickets for the 2020 edition, which was also cancelled.
The lineup for the 2021 festival, which was to take place in Barcelona early in June, included Pavement, the Strokes, Bad Bunny, Tyler, the Creator, Tame Impala, FKA Twigs, Charli XCX, Jamie xx and Gorillaz.
We will make it doubly good in 2022. Because yes, really, we will dance together again… and like never before.
— primavera_sound (@Primavera_Sound) March 2, 2021
“We have tried everything,” the organizers wrote in a statement, “but we have now made this very painful decision due to the uncertainty surrounding the legal framework for large events on the original dates.” The concurrent industry conference Primavera Pro will proceed in a “hybrid edition,” both online and with a reduced in-person presence.
The cancelation comes a week after Live Nation decided to forge ahead with 2021 editions of three major festivals in the U.K.: The Leeds and Reading Festivals and the dance-music-oriented Creamfields, all scheduled for late August. The company placed tickets on sale a day after Prime Minister Boris Johnson unveiled a reopening timeline for the country, based on its solid progress in vaccinations, even though the country has suffered more than 123,000 deaths and is still averaging more than 100 deaths per day; more than 170,000 tickets were sold for the three festivals in the days immediately following the on-sale. European countries have showed slower progress in the vaccination process.
Live Nation’s confidence in the U.S. vaccination progress was on display during the company’s earnings call last week, as CEO Michael Rapino projected a return to large outdoor amphitheater concerts — including festivals — and smaller indoor shows by “mid-summer,” with outdoor concerts continuing in warm-weather areas into November — however, due to the lack of country-wide lockdown rules in the U.S., which thus far has left the decisions to states or even counties, some venues in the South have booked a robust concert schedule for the spring, although for limited audiences. Most North American festivals with dates in the spring early summer have moved them to later in the year.
While some major festivals, like New York’s Governor’s Ball, have canceled their 2021 editions outright, most have either moved their dates or are waiting to see what others do. The major bellweather for the festival season, the two-weekend Coachella in Southern California, rescheduled its dates for a third time last month, moving from April to October. If it moves its dates again, presumably to April of 2022, it is likely that many others will do as well.