The 2021 edition of CMA Fest will not take place due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. This makes a second consecutive year that the annual multi-day country-music event in Nashville has been canceled. CMA Fest is slated to return in 2022, with dates announced for June 9th through 12th.
The Country Music Association issued the following statement on the decision to cancel this year’s festival:
“After thoughtful deliberation, we are saddened to share that CMA Fest will not take place in 2021. We know our fans near and far have hoped that the festival could safely return this summer, and while we are encouraged to see COVID-19 vaccines becoming more widely available, we still face several challenges that prevent us from bringing our fans around the world the CMA Fest experience they have come to expect. But rest assured, we have already started planning what will be the most EPIC celebration of Country Music next summer.”
Fans who purchased four-day passes for the 2020 festival and chose the rollover option will be able to use those tickets for CMA Fest 2022. Fans who bought their passes through Ticketmaster or the CMA will be emailed about the option to retain the passes or receive a refund.
CMA CEO Sarah Trahern emailed members early on Tuesday with the news, explaining the logistical challenges posed by an event as large and complex as CMA Fest and the near-impossibility of rescheduling it for later in the year.
“Many of our performers and attendees will ask why we cannot reschedule our event to take place later in 2021, however, to produce CMA Fest at the scale we normally do requires a significant amount of advance planning and production,” Trahern wrote. “Given the length of our production window, it was simply impossible to find an available window later this summer or into the fall.”
In place of CMA Fest 2020, the organization assembled a pair of television specials that mixed classic CMA Fest performances from the last 20 years as well as intimate, at-home music by some of country’s biggest stars. The 2021 CMA Fest was slated to be the 50th anniversary, but with no 2020 or 2021 festival, that anniversary will be delayed until 2023.