The Bonnaroo Music Festival, scheduled to begin on Thursday, has been canceled, organizers announced on Tuesday afternoon. The reason given was not Covid-related, but rather due to heavy rains from Hurricane Ida soaking the festival’s grounds in Manchester, Tennessee. The organizers explained the situation in social-media posts and looked ahead to a rescheduled festival in June of next year; full details can be found on the Bonnaroo website.
The latest lineup of the festival featured Foo Fighters, Megan Thee Stallion, Lizzo, Tame Impala, Tyler, the Creator and Rufus du Sol, along with dozens of other acts. Last month, Janelle Monae and Lana Del Rey pulled out of the festival, but were replaced in the lineup by Khruangbin and Rufus du Sol.
“We are absolutely heartbroken to announce that we must cancel Bonnaroo,” the post reads in part. “While this weekend’s weather looks outstanding, currently Centeroo is waterlogged in many areas, the ground is incredibly saturated on our tollbooth paths, and the campgrounds are flooded to the point that we are unable to drive in or park vehicles safely. We have done everything in our power to try to keep the show moving forward, but Mother Nature has dealt us a tremendous amount of rain over the past 24 hours, and we have run out of options to try to make the event happen safely and in a way that lives up to the Bonnaroo experience. Please find ways to safely gather with your Bonnaroo community and continue to radiate positivity during this disappointing time. WE WILL SEE YOU ON THE FARM IN JUNE 2022!”
Like most music festivals, the long-running Bonnaroo was forced to cancel its 2020 edition; it originally scheduled 2021’s for its usual early-June time, but then moved the date to Labor Day weekend as concerts and festivals began to revive in the spring. However, many have grown nervous as Covid cases began to spike for touring acts — both Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons of Kiss were diagnosed positive in recent days and postponed tour dates, as have many other artists — and the rain from Hurricane Ida proved the final straw for Bonnaroo.
While statistics are incomplete, some festivals, including Lollapalooza in Chicago and last weekend’s Reading and Leeds festivals in the U.K., seem to have gone off without major complications or mass Covid infections, although each reported some.
The Coachella festival, the largest in North America, and its companion country-music Stagecoach Festival, are both scheduled for April 2022 in Indio, Calif. Tickets for Coachella sold out almost instantly.