Download Festival Australia has officially been cancelled amidst continued coronavirus fears.
The decision comes as the festival’s headliners My Chemical Romance released an official statement announcing their withdrawal, saying:
“To our dearest friends –
It is with heavy hearts that we have decided to postpone our performances in Australia and New Zealand. We felt this was the right decision for our fans, our band, our crew, and our families given the current global situation. We apologize to our fans, but please know that we didn’t come to this decision lightly. Thank you for your understanding and we look forward to being with you all again as soon as we can. In the meantime, please be good to each other.”
— My Chemical Romance (@MCRofficial) March 12, 2020
My Chemical Romance were due to perform at the heavy music festival on Friday March 20 and Saturday March 21 in Melbourne and Sydney, respectively.
As a result of this announcement, Download organisers have decided to cancel the two-day event entirely, a press statement saying, “Given that this announcement has come barely 7 days prior to Download Australia we will not be able to secure an alternative headliner.
“As we are unable to deliver a complete line-up to meet the standard that Download fans both expect and deserve, we have very reluctantly made the decision to cancel Download Australia 2020.”
You can read the full statement here.
My Chemical Romance’s appearance at Download was supposed to be the newly reunited band’s first international performance after their Los Angeles reunion show in December.
Other bands set to perform at Download included Jimmy Eat World, Deftones, In Flames, Baroness and Aussie favourites Hellions, Alestorm, In Hearts Wake and Stand Atlantic.
Gothic metal band Lacuna Coil had withdrawn from Download earlier this month in light of the coronavirus outbreak in their native Italy.
Festival organisers have said they will continue to work with both My Chemical Romance and Deftones to schedule separate headline shows later this year.
— Deftones (@deftones) March 13, 2020
“We appreciate that the decision to cancel Download Australia will cause huge disappointment and may create major difficulty for ticket holders, for which we sincerely apologise,” festival organisers continued in their statement.
Download Sydney and Melbourne ticket holders are advised the will receive a full refund including booking and payment processing fees, with ticket outlet Moshtix saying they will contact account holders on Monday March 16 regarding the refund process.
Yesterday (March 12), a festivalgoer at Golden Plains in Victoria reportedly tested positive for the coronavirus.
Festivals at home and abroad have also suffered. Hobart’s Dark Mofo have cancelled its June festival, while the cancellation of Texas’ SXSW festival forced Aussie artists to change their plans. The April edition of Indio, California festival Coachella has been postponed to October.
Organisers of Bluesfest Byron Bay have said its April edition will go ahead with additional health and safety measures implemented in light of the coronavirus outbreak.