Most May music festivals will no longer take place and organizers of some June events are eyeing postponements. Get the update at Local Spins.
Usually, April is the time when Michigan music lovers start looking ahead with eagerness to the upcoming music festival season.
Support our coverage of
West Michigan's music scene
But amid this unprecedented crisis, even upcoming outdoor events are falling victim to COVID-19.
Almost the entire slate of early-season festivals taking place in May has been canceled or rescheduled to the fall or to 2021.
Only Buses by the Beach’s annual Bus Benefit taking place Memorial Day weekend at Camp Blodgett in West Olive remains on the May festival docket for now, with a final decision on fate of the 2020 event expected at a board meeting later this month.
Amid uncertainty about the pandemic and continued social-distancing, Jon Shears of Buses by the Beach said organizers are contacting other early summer festivals to exchange information “about what we are facing and doing going forward.”
Already, late May’s Movement Music Festival in Detroit has been rescheduled and early June’s Festival of the Arts in Grand Rapids has been canceled, with the annual Cedar Polka Festival postponed to September.
Decisions on popular June festivals such as Founders Fest, Camp Greensky and the B93 Birthday bash are still pending, with B93 organizers “looking at alternate dates.”
But The Big Ticket Festival slated for June 25-27 will now be postponed to Sept. 4-6 (Labor Day weekend). And the Spirit of the Woods Music Association has canceled its 43rd Spirit of the Woods Folk Festival which had been scheduled to take place in Brethren on June 20.
ESCALATING CORONAVIRUS CONCERNS AND MORE POSTPONEMENTS
Many festival organizers are facing the same issues that leaders of Grand Rapids’ Festival of the Arts had to consider when they made the “heart-wrenching” decision in March to cancel the 2020 event because they “value the health of everyone.”
Since that decision, concerns about the coronavirus have continued to grow, with Michigan recording more than 15,000 cases of COVID-19, third most in the country.
It’s even left organizers of some summer community concerts – which take place on weeknights in cities and parks across the state – debating continuation or postponement of their events, which mostly feature local and regional musicians.
Lorain Smalligan, executive director of LowellArts, said the organization has decided to move its June “Sizzlin’ Summer Concerts” in downtown Lowell to July and August, but still plans to host all 10 of them this summer.
Copyright 2020, Spins on Music LLC