It’s been a roller coaster of a year with the COVID-19 pandemic upending our lives and effectively muting the festival scene since March of 2020. But with all the new vaccinations hitting the market, there’s hope that festies may soon gather together under blue skies in open fields to celebrate our favorite music. We have been following developments around the world and break down “what’s happening” in this article.
NOTE: This article was updated on April 15, 2021. It goes without saying, but we are going to say it anyway – festival info is very fluid right now with cancellations, postponements, and reschedules happening daily. If you have a question about a particular festival, it’s best to confirm on their official website before pulling the trigger on tickets and travel.
What’s Happening in Spring 2021?
The official wildcards of the USA, Florida and Texas, dropped all restrictions, so festival season is going to happen in the South. Whether it’s safe or not remains to be seen. While most of these fests skew towards the smaller size, the first major test of festival season will be what happens with Electric Daisy Carnival in Vegas. So far EDC has confirmed dates, but not many details beyond that.
What’s Happening in Summer 2021?
June, July, and August are the traditional timeslots of music festivals across North America and Europe. This year we’re seeing a split into four distinct camps of roughly the same size:
Camp #1: Full-Steam Ahead
100+ festivals are ready to take on the summer with confirmed dates and lineups. The UK has taken the lead here as their government has announced that restrictions should be ended by June 21. The Netherlands is also aiming for a festival season that starts after July 1st.
Camp #2: See You in 2022
We have already seen 60+ festivals officially pull the plug on the 2021 festival season and confirm dates for 2022. Expect this number to get higher as summer gets closer.
Camp #3: September is the New Summer
A significant chunk of organizers have pushed their festivals back to the fall of 2021 with September showing a record number (85+ at publication time). Unlike 2020, there’s a very real chance that live music will be back at by “Festember”.
Camp #4: Wait and See
Lots of festival organizers are still holding out to to see how the vaccine rollout, changing regulations, and artist announcements, will affect this season. We expect most of these festivals will be making a decision on their next plans by the end of April.
What’s Happening in Fall 2021?
Right now the autumn months (September/October/November) have nearly as many events scheduled as the summer. Lots of legacy favorites will be vying for fans against the newcomers. We’ve never seen anything like this in 10 years of covering festivals, so we are very curious to see how it all shakes out.