Bonnaroo Postponed for the Third Time to September 2021

Bonnaroo cancelled
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Bonnaroo cancelled
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Photo Credit: Shannon McGee / CC by 2.0

Bonnaroo has been pushed back for a third time, to September 2nd through 5th, 2021. And although the famed music festival is about 11 months out, some are questioning whether the new dates are still too soon.

Bonnaroo organizers recently penned a message announcing the scheduling change, which moved the four-day-long event back from June of next year. Moreover, the Live Nation-owned festival decided upon June 2021 after postponing its 2020 edition until September and subsequently pulling the plug on this year’s iteration altogether.

Now, the Manchester, Tennessee, happening is set to welcome Bonnaroovians in September 2021, in what will mark its 20th anniversary. The aforementioned announcement message didn’t disclose the festival lineup or details pertaining to camping accommodations (which “will be available at a later date”), but it did specify that refunds are obtainable for individuals unable to make the new dates. Fans can get their money back from today until Saturday, October 31st, at which time passes will automatically carry over to the September 2021 dates.

Many on social media are voicing their opinions of Bonnaroo 2021’s schedule – including a portion of prospective attendees who’re unhappy with the switch and others who welcome the change.

Additionally, multiple fans have pointed out that the early-September timetable overlaps with Nevada’s Burning Man, which is slated to initiate on August 29th, 2021, and conclude on September 6th. For further reference, Coachella 2021 is booked across two weekends between April 9th and 18th.

Leading concert promoter (and Bonnaroo owner, once again) Live Nation indicated in its Q2 2020 earnings report that it expects concerts to reemerge “at scale” next summer – a stance echoed by German live-music mainstay CTS Eventim. More broadly, 54 percent of live music execs signaled in a recently conducted survey that they anticipate a 2021 return for concerts. Within the encouraging figure, approximately 40 percent of respondents – 540 individuals who work in live music – are banking on a Q2 or Q3 2021 comeback.

In spite of this widespread optimism, Lollapalooza cofounder Marc Geiger said in mid-July that concerts won’t return until 2022 – a scenario that would prove devastating for the music community. Australia’s top medical officer echoed the sentiment, albeit in terms of music festivals and their multi-thousand-person crowds.

Even so, fan demand for live music appears to be just as strong – if not stronger – than it was pre-pandemic. Live Nation noted that the vast majority of consumers have opted to hold onto their tickets instead of requesting refunds, and EDC Las Vegas 2021 passes sold out about one day after becoming available to purchase.