Three of the biggest spring U.S. rock festivals — Sonic Temple, Epicenter, and Welcome to Rockville — have been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. The announcement was made by promoter Danny Wimmer Presents on Monday.
The three fests were set to take place on consecutive weekends in May, with Epicenter slated for May 1st-3rd in Concord, North Carolina; Welcome to Rockville set for May 8th-10th in Daytona Beach, Florida; and Sonic Temple scheduled for May 15th-17th in Columbus, Ohio.
All three festivals were originally set to be co-headlined by Metallica, but the metal band had recently bowed out of Sonic Temple so that frontman James Hetfield could commit to his recovery program after entering rehab last year. Tool and Red Hot Chili Peppers had stepped in to replace Metallica at Sonic Temple.
Now, none of those festivals will take place this year, with Danny Wimmer Presents explaining that it was too difficult to find weekends to reschedule the events.
Metallica had also dropped off Louisville’s Louder Than Life festival, but will now rejoin the fest, as a fourth night (Thursday) has been added that doesn’t conflict with Hetfield’s recovery schedule. The fest will now take place September 17th through 20th.
A full statement from Danny Wimmer Presents reads as follows:
“There are no pre-existing guidelines for what festivals should be doing during this unprecedented time. Like the rest of the music industry, we continue to assess new information and make the best-educated decisions possible. We know you have been anxious for updates from us and we are at a point where we can answer many of your questions about how each of our festivals may be affected by COVID-19.
We are crushed to say that Epicenter, Welcome To Rockville and Sonic Temple are being canceled due to the governmental restrictions on mass gatherings. We respect these directives and recognize they are in the best interest of the greater good, as well as the health and safety of our fans, musicians, partners, and staff. Before accepting this fate, we worked really hard to try to reschedule the festivals. Unfortunately, scheduling conflicts, venue availabilities and a number of other factors out of our control made postponing impossible. Make no mistake, each of these festivals will return in May 2021 bigger and stronger than ever!
Let’s be perfectly clear — FULL REFUNDS will be available to everyone who has purchased passes to Epicenter, Welcome To Rockville and Sonic Temple.”
Danny Wimmer Presents goes on to report that at this time it is not revealing the lineups for its fall festivals — Louder Than Life, Aftershock, and Beyond Bourbon — as “we need to hold off on these announcements until we have more certainty in the world.”
Fans who had tickets to the spring festivals will have the option to apply them to the fall festivals, if they choose not to get a refund.
Among the other acts set to play at least one or more of the three May festivals were Slipknot, Deftones, Disturbed, The Offspring, and many more.