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New Orleans Jazz Fest Is Canceled For 2020

The Brass-A-Holics perform at New Orleans Jazz & Hertiage Festival. April 25, 2014.

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival is canceled for this year in response to the coronavirus pandemic, organizers announced Thursday.

The festival originally scheduled for April 23 through May 3 was postponed in March until the fall. Today, organizers announced that this year's festivities are canceled all together.

"With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to evolve unpredictably — and out of an abundance of caution for the health and safety of our community, including musicians, fans, participants, and staff — Jazz Fest 2020 will not occur this fall, as previously announced," the statement says.

"This conclusion is made after much careful deliberation. It takes something truly momentous to interrupt a 50-year New Orleans tradition as special as the Festival, but we feel strongly that the most prudent course right now is to allow more time for the situation to stabilize. We thank everyone for their patience as we have considered all of the matters necessary to making this difficult decision."

The news comes two days after Mayor LaToya Cantrell said New Orleans festivals should be canceled for 2020, one day after Essence Festival of Culture canceled, and not hours after Gov. John Bel Edwards said in a press conference, "We are going to continue to see new cases throughout the year." Yesterday, the mayor extended the city's stay-at-home order until May 16.

Organizers plan to bring the festival back April 22 to May 2 next year.


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Ashley Dean is the digital news editor for New Orleans Public Radio. Before coming to New Orleans, she was the editor of Denverite, a digital news startup now under the Colorado Public Radio umbrella. Prior to that she was a copy editor and features writer at the Denver Post, and before that, a music reporter for the Colorado Daily. She graduated from Columbia University with a master's degree in journalism and from Northeastern University with a bachelor's degree in journalism.

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