French Quarter Fest canceled because of COVID-19 pandemic

French Quarter Fest canceled because of COVID-19 pandemic
French Quarter Festival initially moved its event to October. They announced it is canceled because of coronavirus. (Source: WVUE)

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - French Quarter Festival has been canceled. Organizers had moved it to October because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but are no longer moving forward.

French Quarter Festivals Inc. President Emily Madero says her team looked at changing how the festival could operate while maintaining current federal and state guidelines. Ultimately, Madero says canceling was the best option.

“At the City’s direction and out of caution for the safety of fans, musicians, staff and partners, French Quarter Festival and Satchmo SummerFest 2020 have been canceled. For the remainder of the year, FQFI will refocus our energy on innovating to create new ways to deliver on our mission in 2020,” organizers said in a statement Thursday (May 7).

The festival, barring any other disasters, will return in April 2021. Satchmo SummerFest will be back in July 2021.

“Since 1984, French Quarter Festivals, Inc. has been committed to our non-profit mission to deliver a positive economic impact to the community and to showcase our incredible local music and culture. Our festivals create thousands of jobs for musicians and others; help sustain local, small businesses; and provide a priceless cultural impact to hundreds of thousands of attendees,” the statement said.

In 2019, French Quarter Festival generated nearly $200 million in economic impact for the city and hired over 1,700 local musicians.

“All of these individuals have been part of our festival atmosphere, our festival economy," Mark Romig with New Orleans & Company. "We have more than 145 festivals scheduled in our city alone throughout the year. The majority of those are being affected in a negative way.”

“To ensure we can survive this unprecedented situation and bring back our beloved events in 2021, today we launch our Resilience Campaign. Donors will receive festival merchandise and recognition on our website,” organizers said.

More information about the Resilience Campaign and FQFI is available at fqfi.org.

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