Serbia’s EXIT Festival has cancelled its 2020 edition due to coronavirus, despite promising to be one of the only 2020 festivals to go ahead.
Back in May, the festival announced it was pushing the event back from July until August, with Serbian prime minister Ana Brnabić recommending the postponement instead of cancellation, and saying she was “thrilled” that EXIT 2020 would go ahead.
Now, the festival has announced that it will be unable to proceed with its 2020 edition, and has postponed until 2021.
“As you may know, earlier this spring, the Serbian Prime Minister had asked EXIT not to cancel the festival but rather postpone it to mid-August,” the festival wrote in a statement announcing the cancellation.
“At that time, the number of new daily cases was on a steady sharp decline and even our most cautious health experts believed that zero number of cases would be reached in June, almost two months before the new festival date in August. During this time, the whole of Serbia was also fully reopened, with no restrictions in an open-air public gathering and all borders were open.”
The statement continued: “Unfortunately, during the past few weeks, there has been the development of the epidemic with an increase of new daily cases in several municipalities in Serbia that were put under strict restrictions.
“The EXIT team has followed the current situation of the epidemic closely, always keeping in mind the safety and health of all visitors, artists and team members. That is why it was decided first to drastically reduce the festival capacity in order to make sure that everything would be as safe as possible.
“However, since the health situation has not improved yet after the second spike in cases, organisers have made the decision that the 20 year celebration of EXIT Festival will not take place from 13 to 16 August this year at Petrovaradin Fortress.”
Instead, the festival will hold a livestreamed alternative called Life Stream, which will incorporate their environmental project, Green R:Evolution.
One of the festivals still planning to go ahead in 2020 is Malta’s Escape 2 The Island event. “With very low rates of Covid-19 and incredibly detailed and diligent planning from the Maltese government, the country is now open again for tourism,” a statement read of the festival, which features Aitch and AJ Tracey among the line-up.