The Country Music Association announced in a statement Tuesday that they "cannot in good conscience" move forward with the event

By Darlene Aderoju and Sarah Michaud
March 31, 2020 01:45 PM
Advertisement

CMA Fest 2020 has been canceled amid the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

The annual festival was originally set to take place from June 4 through 7 in Nashville, the country music capital of the world. However, due to rising concerns surrounding the coronavirus, the Country Music Association announced in a statement Tuesday that they “cannot in good conscience” move forward with the event.

“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. 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,” the announcement read.

“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.”

Tim McGraw performs at CMA Fest 2019
| Credit: Mark Levine/ABC via Getty

In a note to CMA members, CEO Sarah Trahern added, “Please know the decision was not made overnight. Our team has been relentless in working through every scenario on behalf of our industry and fans. But after careful deliberation, and in following the latest guidance from national, state and local authorities, we felt it was time to start looking ahead to 2021.”

On March 11, CMA Fest released a statement on its official site, Instagram and Twitter stating that the festival would proceed as scheduled.

“CMA is first and foremost committed to the health and safety of our fans, artists and community,” the statement began. “We are continuously monitoring the very latest guidance from local, state and national authorities to carefully evaluate the spread of COVID-19. Additionally, we are regularly tracking travel advisories and restrictions, which currently do not include restrictions for any location in the United States.”

“As of today, CMA Fest will proceed as scheduled June 4-7 in Nashville,” the organization wrote at the time. “We are taking appropriate steps to ensure festival grounds will be safe and comfortable for all attendees, including enhanced sanitation protocols and hygiene standards.”

Credit: imageSPACE/Shutterstock

The health crisis has caused a halt on several musical acts. Elton John, Dan + Shay, Kelly Clarkson and the Jonas Brothers made similar announcements regarding a change of plans due to the health scare.

Country duo Dan + Shay called off their set at Stagecoach and postponed the spring leg of The (Arena) Tour as an added safety precaution. “Thank you all for your patience and understanding,” they wrote in a statement. “It is a strange, strange time for all of us, but we felt this was the right thing to do.

Dan + Shay
| Credit: John Shearer/WireImage

The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival and Stagecoach have been pushed to the fall. Coachella will now be held on Oct. 9-11 and Oct. 16-18 and Stagecoach will take place the weekend of Oct. 23.

The World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic in March and urged world leaders and citizens to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

The CDC recommends that the best prevention methods are simple forms of hygiene — careful hand washing, avoiding touching the face, moving away from people who are coughing or sneezing and staying home at signs of illness.

2019 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival
| Credit: Presley Ann/Getty Images

The United States continues to be significantly affected by coronavirus, with more than 3,400 people succumbing to the disease as of Tuesday morning, according to the New York Times. More than 173,741 have contracted the virus so far, the outlet reported.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. To help provide doctors and nurses on the front lines with life-saving medical resources, donate to Direct Relief here.