Savannah Music Festival cancels 2020 festival

Savannah Music Festival cancels 2020 festival
A band plays at the Savannah Music Festival in 2019 (Source: WTOC)

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - The Savannah Music Festival announced Friday afternoon their 2020 festival is canceled at the request of Mayor Van Johnson, with support from public health officials.

“At a time of such uncertainty about the impact of COVID-19 on our community, we understand the concerns of community leaders. The Savannah Music Festival draws crowds from around the world and here at home, including many older individuals who may be at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19. City leaders have the full support of the Coastal Health District in the decision to cancel," said Dr. Lawton Davis, Health Director of the Coastal Health District of the Georgia Department of Public Health.

In a release the festival stated, “Savannah Music Festival officials deeply regret that they are unable to share this season with patrons in 2020, but recognize that an aggressive course of action is justified to protect public and community health. This cancellation applies to all concerts, donor events and festival education events Swing Central Jazz and Acoustic Music Seminar.”

The Savannah Music Festival will attempt to reschedule performances over the next week. In the event that rescheduling cannot occur, ticket purchasers will be notified immediately regarding refund procedures.

“As other festivals and public events have been cancelled around the country, we hoped Savannah and the Savannah Music Festival would be spared. The entire performing arts industry must be part of prevention efforts to protect our patrons, artists and crew. The Savannah Music Festival’s board of directors is grateful to our community for their unwavering support during this difficult time and appreciates the hard work and dedication of the SMF staff," said Tim Coy, Savannah Music Festival Board Chairman.

At this time, all other Savannah Music Festival performances and programs outside of the festival dates, including Lake Street Dive on April 28 and local education programs Musical Explorers and SMF Jazz Academy, will proceed as planned until further notice.

Copyright 2020 WTOC. All rights reserved.