Spring music festivals are falling like dominoes with postponements and cancellations due to COVID-19. As the reality sets in of how serious a pandemic the novel coronavirus truly is, fear that it will devastate the summer music festival season as well rises. Today California’s Lightning in a Bottle became the first Memorial Day weekend festival casualty, sending a grave omen that all the others at the end of May – as well as all those before then – are now in danger, too.
Memorial Day weekend hosts at least 20 music festivals across the United States, including the techno haven of Movement in Detroit, MI, the wook-delight Summer Camp in Chillicothe, IL, and EDM party Sunset Music Festival in Tampa, FL. The massive phenomenon of Electric Daisy Carnival also takes place the weekend before and schools generally end classes around this time as well. With more fests occurring during Memorial Day weekend than any other single weekend of the year, these events all over the country kick off the summer festival season.
But a National Emergency has officially been declared and the state of California is urging the halting of all gatherings of more than 250 individuals. Lightning in a Bottle’s production company, the Do LaB, cited how the significant amount of resources needed from Kern County to produce a safe event could not be guaranteed for non-essential services (i.e. the festival) in coming months as a prominent factor in its decision to call things off. Whether Lightning in a Bottle will be rescheduled later in the year, or not return until 2021, has yet to be determined. No word on the refund situation at this point, either.
Insomniac is still pushing forward to make EDC happen in May. Many May fests are moving on strong with hope at their backs. But considering how festivalgoers travel from near and far to such gatherings of thousands of people, and how easily the novel coronavirus spreads… if it isn’t effectively contained soon, all of these events are at risk of facing the same fate as LiB. COVID-19 tests should be in wide supply and testing more easily accessible within two months, but a vaccine will undoubtedly take notably longer.
So hold off on buying new tickets for summer festivals in the meantime, wash your hands frequently, and take your vitamins. You can read the full statement from Lightning in a Bottle below.