New Orleans Jazz Fest canceled again as COVID-19 cases rise due to delta variant

Aug 9, 2021

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The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival has been canceled for the second consecutive year, thanks to an uptick in COVID-19 cases led by the delta variant.

Known as Jazz Fest for short, the festival usually occurs every spring, but last year it was waylaid by the onset of the global coronavirus outbreak.

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Chaka Khan performs during the 2019 New Orleans Jazz Fest. (Photo by Erika Goldring/Getty Images)

This year, the event was scheduled for Oct. 8 – 17, with the Rolling Stones set as one of the most recently announced major acts, along with other big names like Lizzo, Stevie Nicks, Demi Lovato, the Foo Fighters, Ziggy Marley, Brandi Carlile, Norah Jones, the Beach Boys, Ludacris, the Wu-Tang Clan, Elvis Costello and more.

An announcement about the cancellation on the festival’s Twitter account says ticketholders, including those who rolled their tickets over from last year, will be contacted about refund options. (Those who purchased tickets for Oct. 13, when the Stones were slated to play, will automatically receive refunds.)

There will also be options for ticketholders to roll their admission over to next year’s Jazz Fest, which is on the calendar for April 29 – May 8, 2022.

“In the meantime, we urge everyone to follow the guidelines and protocols put forth by public health officials so that we can all soon experience together the joy that is Jazz Fest,” the festival’s official cancellation statement said.

Pitbull performed at Jazz Fest in 2019. (Photo by Erika Goldring/Getty Images)

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s COVID-19 Data Tracker, Louisiana has seen more than 32,000 new cases in the past seven days, making it one of the top five states in terms of the highest number of recent positives, along with California, Florida, Texas and Georgia. Nearly 700,000 new cases have been recorded across the U.S. in the past week.

As hospitalization rates in Louisiana have climbed in recent weeks — with more than 2,700 people hospitalized at the time this article was published — Mayo Clinic reports that fewer than 45% of the state’s population has received at least one dose of the vaccine.

Featured photo courtesy of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.

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