CMA Fest, the annual country-music festival that draws tens of thousands to Nashville each June for concerts and artist interactions, has been canceled for 2020 because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The Country Music Association confirmed the news in a statement released on Tuesday.
“After careful deliberation, and in following the latest guidance from national, state and local authorities, we are sad to announce that CMA Fest will not take place in 2020,” it said in part. “As the world is still greatly affected by the spread of COVID-19, we cannot in good conscience risk the health and wellbeing of our fans, artists, staff and Country Music community.”
The CMA said that fans who purchased four-day passes for this year’s CMA Fest can use them for the 2021 festival, set for June 10th through 13th. Full refunds are also being offered. CMA Fest, which began in 1972 as Fan Fair, was famous for putting fans up close and personal with the country music artists. Meet-and-greets — now an impossibility during the era of social distancing — are a hallmark of the event, with some artists spending hours signing autographs and posing for photos with fans. At the 1996 CMA Fest (then still known as Fan Fair), Garth Brooks signed autographs for 23 straight hours.
Here’s the complete statement regarding the cancellation of CMA Fest 2020:
Whether you planned to attend CMA Fest for the first time, or you have attended many times throughout the last 48 years, we know how special this festival is for Country Music fans around the globe and that many will be disappointed by this decision. As the world is still greatly affected by the spread of COVID-19, we cannot in good conscience risk the health and wellbeing of our fans, artists, staff and Country Music community.
We will honor four-day passes purchased for this year’s event for CMA Fest 2021. However, if you prefer a full refund, we will provide one upon request if your passes were purchased through Ticketmaster or the CMA Fest Box Office. Those who purchased passes through non-official channels should contact the seller directly. Within the next 24-48 hours, all four-day pass purchasers will receive an email with further instructions.
We greatly appreciate your understanding and patience, as our actions are always in the best interest of our Country Music community. In the coming weeks and months, we will continue to bring Country fans and artists together to celebrate the unique spirit and sense of unity that is at the heart of what CMA Fest stands for. We will also share information about future CMA events and ways to support those within our community affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Please keep yourself and your loved ones healthy and safe, and we hope you will join us for CMA Fest next year, June 10-13, 2021.