Summerfest 2020 Has Been Canceled

Milwaukee’s Summerfest, the largest music festival in the U.S. by attendance, has been canceled due to COVID-19.

The festival, which draws a crowd of upwards of 800,000 people, was originally scheduled to take place in June. It was pushed back to late September in March when the pandemic first hit the U.S., but now the event has been canceled due to the uncertainty regarding the safety of large gatherings. Organizers said 2021 dates would be announced in the coming weeks.

“It is our honor to be responsible for such a storied tradition. With five decades of festivals, countless legendary performances and millions of memories, Milwaukee World Festival, Inc. explored numerous options to ensure the Summerfest tradition could continue in 2020, in a safe and healthy manner,” Summerfest president and CEO Don Smiley said in a statement. “Yet, given the information available today, and the uncertainty surrounding very large gatherings, we cannot in good conscience proceed with the festival this year. The immediate future presents multiple levels of risk for our fans, and we choose the side of safety.”

“As we all face a challenging and unusual summer and fall ahead, we sincerely appreciate all the support demonstrated by our fans and sponsors and encourage you to support your favorite musicians in the months to come,” Smiley said. “We hope you will carry the spirit of Summerfest with you until we can be together again. May the magic of music fill your life with joy and memories.”

This year’s Summerfest, included Guns N’ Roses, Justin Bieber, Dave Matthews Band, Chris Stapleton, Blink-182, Halsey, and Khalid. So far, there’s no word on whether these artists would return next year.

Information on ticket refunds can be found at

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Ashley Perez Hollingsworth

Ashley Perez is a freelance music journalist based in Chicago. Her work has appeared on AXS, Chicago Innerview, New City, The Millions, and Illinois Entertainer. She also runs her own music blog at Radio Not Found. Some of her favorite bands include Nirvana, The Cure, Muse, Creeper, and Green Day.

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