Anthems Festival in Canberra has announced that it is pulling the plug on the 2020 edition due to coronavirus concerns.
The festival was scheduled to take place at Commonwealth Park in Canberra, ACT on March 28. It unveiled its lineup last December: Icehouse were due to headline, joined by The Temper Trap, newly reunited group Rogue Traders, Eskimo Joe, Frente!, Mark Wilkinson and Natalie Bassingthwaighte.
In a statement today (March 13), promoters announced that this year’s festival was off and that ticketholders would receive refunds (including fees) within 14 days.
They wrote, “With conflicting information and uncertainty around the coronavirus and the announcement by the World Health Organisation of an international pandemic we are seeing a large increase in cancellations of events globally this week.
“The health and safety of our patrons, artists, and staff is always paramount at any of our events and we believe the right course of action is to not put anyone at unnecessary risk, and also to ensure the festival remains a regular feature on the ACT events calendar.
“Although we don’t like what’s happening to our live music and arts industry as a result of this panic, to proceed when there is so much uncertainty in the market could affect the viability of the event for the Canberran community in the future.”
Anthems’ promoters also confirmed that the festival would return next year, promising an announcement on a 2021 event “in due course”.
Anthems joins the growing list of Australian festivals that have been axed in light of the coronavirus outbreak. Just today, Download Festival announced its cancellation after headliner My Chemical Romance postponed their appearances in Australia and New Zealand. Under the Southern Stars, which had booked Live, Bush and Stone Temple Pilots, announced it would be postponed from April 2020 to February and March 2021.