CMA Fest will not take place in 2020 after all. The festival is being canceled for the year due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, which is forcing event organizers and artists to cancel and move festivals and tour dates to prevent the spread of the virus.

"After careful deliberation, and in following the latest guidance from national, state and local authorities, we are sad to announce that CMA Fest will not take place in 2020," the Country Music Association announced in a press release on Tuesday (March 31). "We know how special this festival is for country music fans around the globe and that many will be disappointed by this decision. As the world is still greatly affected by the spread of COVID-19, we cannot in good conscience risk the health and wellbeing of our fans, artists, staff and country music community."

It will be the first time in 48 years that CMA Fest, which was previously known as Fan Fair, will not take place. In 2019, Nashville's News Channel 5 reports, 50,000 people attended each of the festival's four nightly shows at Nissan Stadium, and the festival generated $65 million in visitor spending.

Those who had already purchased four-day passes for CMA Fest 2020 can roll their passes to CMA Fest 2021, which will take place on June 10-13. However, refunds are also available, and four-day passholders will receive further information about next steps this week.

"We greatly appreciate your understanding and patience, as our actions are always in the best interest of our country music community," the CMA's statement concludes. "Please keep yourself and your loved ones healthy and safe."

CMA Fest 2020 was originally scheduled for June 4-7. A lineup had not yet been announced, but the event traditionally features the nightly concerts at Nissan Stadium as well as hundreds of free sets at stages throughout downtown Nashville, along with fan club parties, meet and greets and other events.

According to the World Health Organization -- which declared the coronavirus a pandemic on March 11 -- over 782,000 cases of the disease and 37,582 deaths because of it have been reported globally as of March 30. In the United States, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there have been 163,539 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 2,860 deaths as of March 30.

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. The Academy of Country Music has also postponed the 2020 ACM Awards until September.

Coronavirus Pandemic: What Country Music Events Are Postponed or Canceled (or Not)?

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