Australia’s CMC Rocks QLD Country Music Festival Now Canceled Amid Global Coronavirus Pandemic
Australia's annual CMC Rocks QLD country music festival has now been canceled amid the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The annual event was set for March 18-22 in Willowbank, Queensland.
"It is with deep regret that the CMC Rocks QLD team announces the postponement of the 2020 event," organizers said in a statement released early on March 13 Nashville time. "As a result of the Australian Government’s announcement this afternoon, holding the festival is now infeasible and as such, the March festival cannot proceed as planned."
According to CNN, Australian Minister Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that day that the country's government is advising against gatherings of more than 500 people. More than 150 cases of the coronavirus had been confirmed in the country at that time: Those with the virus include actor Tom Hanks and his wife, singer-songwriter Rita Wilson -- who are in Gold Coast, Australia, for pre-production on director Baz Luhrmann's untitled Elvis Presley biopic -- and Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton.
CMC Rocks QLD organizers were, per their statement, looking to reschedule the festival to October; however, on Thursday (March 19), they announced that, despite their "very best efforts," the festival would not take place in 2020 after all. All camping packages and event tickets will be valid for CMC Rocks QLD 2021, or fans can request a full refund.
"We’d like to thank our CMC Rocks community for their support and understanding during these challenging times," organizers say. "Take care of yourselves, your friends and family, and we look forward to seeing you all in 2021!"
CMC Rocks QLD 2020 was to include performances from Miranda Lambert, Kip Moore and other American country artists, as well as a number of Australian stars, including Morgan Evans. Moore, in fact, had a string of Australian dates planned and, on March 12, before the government's Friday announcement, told fans Down Under in an Instagram video that he was still going to come perform.
According to the World Health Organization -- which declared the coronavirus a pandemic on March 11 -- over 214,000 cases of the disease and 8,733 deaths because of it have been reported globally as of March 18. In the United States, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there have been 7,038 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 97 deaths as of March 18.
Within country music, artists are doing their part by either postponing or canceling both concerts and entire tours, while festival organizers are both rescheduling and canceling springtime events. Among others, the annual Stagecoach festival, usually held in April, will now take place in October, while Zac Brown Band have chosen to delay the remainder of their springtime tour dates.
A number of artists are performing virtual shows while fans are stuck at home and events are canceled or postponed. On Monday night (March 16), Keith Urban played a mini-live set from his warehouse, while Luke Combs offered a short set on Tuesday night (March 17).
Coronavirus Pandemic: What Country Music Events Are Postponed or Canceled (or Not)?