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Montreux Jazz Festival 2020 Canceled Due to Coronavirus

Montreux Jazz Festival
Lionel FLUSIN/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

Montreux Jazz Festival

The 2020 Montreux Jazz Festival, one of Europe’s best-known and longest-running live music events, has been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Though the Swiss Federal Council announced this week that it would be gradually easing some of the protective measures against the COVID-19 outbreak, it remains “impossible for us to consider holding an event on the scale of Montreux Jazz Festival in July,” reads a statement from organizers. “Public health concerns naturally take precedence over all other considerations.”

This is the first time the festival has been cancelled in its 53-year history.

The fest was scheduled to take place July 3 to 18, with performances from the likes of Lionel Richie, Brittany Howard, Lenny Kravitz, Black Pumas and many others. This year’s programme will be partly carried over to next year’s event, set for July 2 to 17, 2021, organizers say.

Established in 1967 by jazz connoisseur Claude Nobs, the festival has hosted performances by many of the greats of contemporary music, from Prince to David Bowie, Nina Simone, Quincy Jones, Marvin Gaye, Elton John and others.

Nobs passed away in 2013, but his event continues to evolve.

Ahead of this year’s scheduled fest, the organizing team announced the launch of Montreux Media Ventures, a content creation arm that would produce long-form concerts, interviews and backstage footage, as well as documentaries, live-streamed concerts, podcasts, vinyl releases and more.