Updates on Summer Festivals Canceled Due to Coronavirus Outbreak

By Francisco Salazar

***We will update this article as more cancellations are announced.

The coronavirus has affected a number of summer festivals. After the cancellation of the Grange Park Opera and the delay of the Glyndebourne Festival, many festivals are weighing in on the summer.

The Buxton International Festival has canceled its summer festival which was scheduled for July 2 – 18, 2021. In a press release the festival stated, “The government’s scientific advice makes it clear that the peak of this dreadful epidemic is still ahead of us and we have no means of knowing what the position will be by July. Following the most recent government statement prompting the closure of the Buxton Opera House, and with artists, authors, and musicians increasingly unable to travel, we cannot deliver a Festival of the quality you expect.  The trustees of Buxton International Festival are acutely conscious of the impact this decision will have on our artists and businesses in the town of Buxton and the High Peak. To safeguard the viability of the Festival for 2021 and beyond we must cancel this year but with your continued support, and our invaluable ‘Friends’ membership, we can look after our core staff and return with a better than ever Festival in 2021.”

The Amazonas Opera Festival in Manaus has interrupted preparations for this year’s edition which is scheduled for April through June.

The Bayreuth Festival announced that it would still go forward with its festival but was suspending ticket sales as the outbreak grew.

UPDATE: 3/19

The Brighton Festival⁩ has been cancelled for the first time in its 53-year history. The festival was set for May 2 – May 24, 2020

The Grange Festival has announced that this years festival will be canceled. The festival was set to open on June 5 and scheduled to run through July 12.

Opera Holland Park has postponed its 2020 season scheduled to open on June 2 through August 8. The company stated, “As a consequence of the UK government’s advice relating to the COVID-19 outbreak, Opera Holland Park is extremely sorry to inform you that the 2020 season scheduled to take place between June and August in our theatre in Holland Park will now not take place. We have been examining all of our options but the safety of our patrons and all of our staff on and off stage is paramount. OHP is currently exploring opportunities to mount operas scheduled in our 2020 season at a future date, at alternative venues.” Refunds and credits will be available for ticket holders.


June’s festival Nevill Holt opera has canceled. 

The Garsington Opera has canceled its 2020 festival scheduled from May 28 through July 18.


Blackwater Valley Opera Festival has been cancelled. The festival was scheduled to take place at the Lismore, County Waterford on May 26 through June 1.


Jennifer Smith, Polly Graham and Martin Graham sent out a message stating, “It is with a heavy heart that, due to Government recommendations surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, Longborough Festival Opera will not proceed with the 2020 season. This affects all performances.” The festival was supposed to begin on June 4. The festival will be offering all ticket holders a full refund.


The Bampton Opera has canceled its July and August performances. The company stated, “We are cautiously optimistic about being able to give a concert performance at St John’s Smith Square in London on 18 September.”

The Spoleto Festival has canceled it 2020 festival scheduled from May 22 through June 7.


The Ojai Music Festival has canceled its 74th edition, which was scheduled for June 11-14, 2020.

The Sydney Eisteddfod has also been canceled. “We take the health and safety of our entrants, their parents and teachers, our valued sponsors and our loyal audience members very seriously”, says Sydney Eisteddfod CEO, Piroozi Desai-Keane OAM, “and believe this cancellation is in the best interests of all concerned.”


The Aldeburgh Fesival 2020 has been canceled, the first time in the festival’s history that it has been canceled. “It is with enormous sadness that we have to cancel the 2020 Aldeburgh Festival. Given the current unprecedented circumstances, this will not be a surprise but, nonetheless, we know how disappointing it is for our audiences, friends and supporters and for the entire creative community which would have been involved in presenting the events we had planned in June,” Snape Maltings’ Chief Executive Roger Wright said in a press release.


The Edinburgh Festival has been canceled due to the Coronavirus outbreak.

The Santa Fe Opera released a statement noting “At this time, while we know this crisis is far from over, we feel it is too soon to predict the future of our 2020 season …. over the course of the next month, we will have greater clarity.”


The Festival de Música Antigua de los Pirineos has canceled its festival slated from July 3 through August 23.


The Darlington Music Summer School and Festival has canceled.

The Tanglewood Festival has released a message stating “I remain hopeful that we can have concerts at Tanglewood this summer. Naturally, the pandemic we are currently experiencing is unprecedented and unpredictable, and we will certainly follow guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and our government leaders. The health, safety, and wellbeing of our audiences, neighbors, players, and staff is our foremost concern. Yet, we will try the best we can to be a presence in the Berkshires in every way possible this summer.

We have heard from a considerable number of our friends in the Berkshires, including the many businesses in the area that rely on summer tourism, asking when we will make our ultimate determination on what this summer will bring. The honest answer is that we have not set a definitive timetable for this. Because of the uncertain nature of the epidemic, we are considering many options for the Tanglewood season on a near-daily basis. We recognize the importance of Tanglewood and other cultural organizations to the Berkshire community, and we intend to remain in close contact with our partner organizations and businesses in the region to assess the situation and announce any news we may have.

Tanglewood is a complex operation with many distinct components, from the festival and popular artists to the Tanglewood Music Center, Tanglewood Learning Institute, and more. Though each is certainly connected, they are also in many ways independent, necessitating a multi-faceted approach to our decision-making. The financial implications of any decisions or changes are significant to the BSO and the Berkshires, so we are taking a careful and measured approach in our reasoning, while recognizing that we cannot predict the future of our world in the coming months.”


The Leipzig Bachfest has canceled its 2020 edition due to the coronavirus. The festival was set to be held from June 11 through 20, 2020.

The Cheltenham Music Festival has canceled its July festival. The festival said, “We had been optimistic that our Music Festival could still go ahead in July, but because of the continuing impact of the COVID 19 virus, we must put the safety of our audiences, artists, staff and volunteers first. We are sorry for this additional disappointment, following the cancellation of our Jazz and Science Festivals.”


Opera Saratoga has canceled canceled its annual season. The festival noted, “With great regret that Opera Saratoga must announce the cancellation of the 2020 Summer Festival, originally scheduled to run from May 18th to July 5th, due to COVID-19.”

The Rossini in Wildbad festival⁩ will not take place this year, and is postponing the 2020 program until summer 2021. The program was expected to “Elisabetta, Regina d´Inghilterra,” “La Scala di seta,” “Le Philtre,” “L´isola disabitata,” and “La creazione/Die Schöfpung.”

The Boston Pops has canceled its 2020 season. The announcement also noted that a decision on Tanglewood would be reached in the coming weeks.

UPDATE: 4/10

The 48th Istanbul Music Festival⁩, scheduled for June, is being moved to the second half of September.

UPDATE: 4/14

The Festival de Granada has postponed the sale of tickets for its 69th edition.

The George Enescu Festival has canceled its 2020 edition. The only thing remaining on the season is its annual competition.

The Avignon Festival has canceled its 74th edition.

UPDATE: 4/15

The Rossini Opera Festival has postponed booking. The company released a statement noting, “ROF is carefully watching the outcome of the COVID-19 both in Italy and in the rest of the world and is evaluating the repercussions that it might have on the 2020 season while following strictly the guidelines given by the Italian Government. In the meantime we think that it would be appropriate to postpone the booking date to Wednesday May 27 starting at 1pm Italian time (which was previously scheduled for April 23). We accordingly think it would be better not to activate online bookings for this year.”

The Chorégies d’Orange has announced the cancellation of its 2020 edition which was scheduled to open on June 19.

UPDATE: 4/16

The Dresden Music Festival has canceled its 2020 edition. Director Jan Vogler stated, “We will find creative and innovative ways to reach our audiences during these difficult times.”

The Cincinnati Opera has canceled its 100th anniversary season due to the pandemic.

UPDATE: 4/18

The Teatro Nuovo has postponed its summer season and has announced that it will now take place in 2021. The 2021 edition will feature previously announced works Rossini’s “Maometto II” and “Il vero omaggio” and Donizetti’s Miserere.

The Festival Oude Music Utrecht 2020 cannot continue due to the corona crisis. the festival stated, “For the first time in the history of the festival we have to cancel an edition. That hurts, but public health is the most important thing right now. The safety of our visitors, musicians, volunteers and employees is the first one. In the context of the corona crisis, this decision was unfortunately inevitable. At the moment, we are looking at the feasible to move the festival program to 2021 (August 27 to September 5).”

UPDATE: 4/21

The Maggio Musicale has postponed, canceled and reprogrammed the first part of its festival until May 31. Alexander Pereira announced that the planned “Otello” will be performed at the end of the year and the concert by Myung-Whun Chung will be postponed. However, the planned “Fidelio” and the Beethoven cycle celebrating the composer’s 250th anniversary will be canceled.

Oregon Bach Festival has been canceled.

UPDATE: 4/22

The Holland Festival has canceled its 73rd edition.

UPDATE: 4/23

This summer’s Savonlinna Festival has been postponed until 2021 while the Ruhrtriennale⁩and Heidenheim’s Opernfestspiele are cancelled for 2020.

 Utah Festival Opera & Musical Theatre has canceled its 2020 season due to the coronavirus pandemic.

UPDATE: 4/27

The Des Moines Metro Opera has canceled its 2020 festival. The festival will be showing streams of their operas fro free.

UPDATE: 4/29

The Lucerne Festival has canceled stating “After the most recent decision by the Swiss Federal Council, we unfortunately find ourselves compelled to cancel the originally planned Festival exploring the theme of ‘Joy.'”
UPDATE: 4/29
The Ravinia Festival has canceled its summer season. In a statement the festival said, “We are heartbroken to share the news that the Covid pandemic has forced the cancellation of all concerts and events that were to occur at Ravinia this summer.”
The Dell’Arte Opera Ensemble will postpone its 2020 summer festival until 2021.


The Gsstad  Menuhin Festival and the Aspen Music Festival have canceled their 2020 summer seasons.

Due to ongoing safety concerns around COVID-19, Central City Opera’s Summer Festival will be postponed until summer of 2021. The scheduled lineup of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “Carousel,” Verdi’s “Rigoletto” and Purcell’s “Dido and Aeneas” will remain the same next season.  “This news is extremely disappointing, but the decision is in the best interest of our audience, artists, staff and the community,” said Central City Opera General/Artistic Director Pelham “Pat” Pearce. “The COVID-19 crisis is drastically impacting the livelihoods of hundreds of performers, musicians and technicians who bring stories to life on our historic Opera House stage. We are heartbroken audiences won’t experience their work this summer.”

Merola Opera Program has announced, for the first time in its 63 year history, the cancellation of its summer training program and Summer Festival, including all public performances, public master classes, and events scheduled to take place July 9 to August 22, 2020, in accordance with local and global efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus).


Marlborough Music Festival has canceled its 2020 festival.

UPDATE: 5/11

The Savonlinna ⁦Festival⁩ has announced that it has successfully rescheduled the whole of this summer’s program for 2021, including the first Finnish production of Szymanowski’s “King Roger” and the gala concerts with ⁦Karita Mattila. 

UPDATE: 5/12

The Board of Trustees of the Riga Jurmala Music Festival have announced the decision to suspend the Riga Jurmala Music Festival until 2021. Although the Board and the entire festival team remained optimistic until the last moment that all or some of the planned events could proceed this summer, the continuing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Latvian Government’s guidelines led to the regrettable decision of cancelling the events planned for this year. The Festival will announce the 2021 program shortly after the summer.

The Grand Teton Music Festival (GTMF) has announced the cancellation of its summer festival in favor of an immersive filmed experience that will be streamed on August 21, 22, and 23 – what would have been the final days of the 2020 Festival.

The Hollywood Bowl has canceled all activity for the summer season.

The Festival Berlioz in August at his birthplace town of La Côte-Saint-André, in southeast France has been canceled.

UPDATE: 5/19

The Rite of Summer Music Festival has announced it will postpone its annual festival on Governor’s Island to 2021.

The season finale of Daron Hagen’s The Art of Song, which was scheduled for June 5th at the Brooklyn Historical Society has been canceled. BASS is paying all the performers for the original program in full.

The Mariinsky Theatre has called off its Stars of White Nights summer festival in July.

The Lehár Festival in Bad Ischl has been postponed to 2021.

UPDATE: 5/21
The West Edge Festival has postponed its 2020 edition until 2021, with all the operas and casts remaining almost completely intact for next summer. “We are disappointed, but not devastated”  General Director Mark Streshinsky stated in a press release. “New research has shown that it is nearly impossible to rehearse an opera with the level of safety and confidence we would need to feel comfortable. We had been holding out hope for a sharp reduction in cases or a medical breakthrough, but none of that seems to be happening in time.”

UPDATE: 5/23

The British Youth Opera has canceled the summer’s workshops, training and performances.

UPDATE: 5/26

The Waterperry Opera Festival has postponed its 2020 season. All five 2020 productions will be shown in 2021.

UPDATE: 5/27

The Bard Music Festival ⁩and SummerScape have canceled the 2020 edition. The production of  Chausson’s “Le Roi Arthus” and the festival’s series Nadia Boulanger and Her World are postponed to the summer of 2021.