New Orleans Jazz Fest Cancels Due to Rise in COVID-19 Cases
The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival pulled the plug on its plans for a 2021 event, scheduled for October, due to rising COVID-19 cases in the city.
“As a result of the current exponential growth of new COVID cases in New Orleans and the region and the ongoing public health emergency, we must sadly announce that the 2021 edition of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival presented by Shell, scheduled to take place October 8-17, 2021, will not occur as planned,” the festival posted on its social media accounts and website. “We now look forward to next spring, when we will present the Festival during its traditional timeframe.”
As usual, Jazz Fest was to host artists from a wide range of genres. Roots artists who had been scheduled to appear included Brandi Carlile, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Ranky Tanky, Hurray for the Riff Raff, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Leyla McCalla, Christone “Kingfish” Ingram, Keb’Mo’, and Shovels & Rope.
But COVID-19 cases have risen dramatically in New Orleans, according to NOLA.com, the website of the Times-Picayune and The Advocate, with new records for COVID hospitalizations set in Louisiana for four days in a row last week. Unvaccinated people account for 90% of current COVID hospitalizations in the state, according to the Louisiana Department of Health.
The festival announced that the dates for the 2022 festival are April 29-May 8.
“In the meantime,” organizers said in their announcement, “we urge everyone to follow the guidelines and protocols set forth by public health officials, so that we can all soon experience the joy that is Jazz Fest.”
COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective, and our best bet for ensuring live music survives and thrives. In the US, vaccines are free and widely available. Visit vaccines.gov to find out where you can get a vaccine.