Firefly Music Festival canceled due to coronavirus pandemic
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Music fans will have to wait another year for the ninth annual Firefly Music Festival in Dover.
Festival officials officially pulled the plug Tuesday on the four-day festival, which had been slated to return to The Woodlands June 18-21.
"At the direction of state and local authorities and federal guidelines amid the COVID-19 pandemic, we are saddened to confirm the cancellation of Firefly Music Festival 2020," the statement read. "We take the safety and health of our fans, staff and community seriously and we urge everyone to follow the guidelines and protocols put forth by public health officials."
Dover International Speedway President and CEO Mike Tatoian reacted with regret to losing the second major event in a week. On March 17, NASCAR's May 1-3 tripleheader weekend was postponed.
"Given the current circumstances surrounding COVID-19, both of these decisions were difficult but necessary," Tatoain said. "The health and safety of our fans and our country takes precedence over live sports and entertainment events."
Firefly officials said they, too, were deeply disappointed and knew it was going to impact not only fans but also "our incredible team of performers, crew, vendors and our community in Dover, Delaware."
"In these unprecedented times, we send you our love," officials said in the statement. "Thank you for your support and we look forward to welcoming you in the Woodlands in June 2021 where we will dance, sing and celebrate live music together."
Fans largely took the news in stride on the 19,000-person-strong Firefly Music Festival Fan Page on Facebook, although some had hoped it would be rescheduled for a later date.
"I've been expecting this for a couple weeks and it was still a gut punch to see made official," wrote Wilmington's Sarah Scout.
Added Millsboro's Alex Karp, "As a bio student I knew this was coming, yet it’s still just as heavy on the heart when confirmed."
Firefly ticketholders will receive a full refund or can transfer their tickets to 2021, officials said.
Each ticketholder will receive an email about the refund process by Friday. Anyone who does not receive an email should contact festival ticketing support at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This year's festival was to be headlined by Grammy Award-winning upstart Billie Eilish and reunited rockers Rage Against the Machine, along with Halsey, Khalid, Blink 182 and Maggie Rogers.
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Firefly's cancellation did not come as a surprise. It came following the cancellation or postponement of many other major U.S. music festivals, such as South By Southwest, Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival and Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival.
The festival, which drew more than 50,000 last year according to organizers, arrived in Delaware in 2012 and has brought world-class acts to the state's capital over the years including Paul McCartney, Foo Fighters and Eminem.