BREAKING: Download Festival Has Been Cancelled

13 March 2020 | 9:30 am | Staff Writer

Festival organisers issued a statement this morning.

Download Festival 2019. Photo by Ian Laidlaw.

Download Festival 2019. Photo by Ian Laidlaw.

Download Festival has been cancelled in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Organisers today announced the decision on the back of headliners My Chemical Romance pulling out of the shows in Melbourne and Sydney next week.

"We felt this was the right decision for our fans, our band, our crew, and our families given the current global situation," the US band said in a statement today.

"We apologise to our fans, but please know that we didn’t come to this decision lightly.

"Thank you for your understanding and we look forward to being with you all again as soon as we can. In the meantime, please be good to each other."

Download organisers added, "Given that this announcement has come barely eight days prior to Download Australia we will not be able to secure an alternative headliner as there is insufficient time to secure visas and arrange the other relevant logistics that are required prior to the festival.

"As we are unable to deliver a complete line-up to meet the standard that Download fans both expect and deserve, we have very reluctantly made the decision to cancel Download Australia 2020.

"The Download team has been working around the clock to create an unforgettable experience for heavy music fans and we are devastated not be able to deliver this show to Australian Downloaders as planned."

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Organisers also said they are working on separate Australian headline shows for both My Chemical Romance and fellow US outfit Deftones this year.

All ticketholders will receive a full refund including booking and payment processing fees.

The cancellation comes after a festival representative told The Music this week that "the festivals in Melbourne and Sydney next week will go ahead as planned".

"Download 2020 is proceeding as planned, and we are excited to welcome everyone to the event on March 20 and 21," they said at the time.

"Safety of our artists, fans, and staff is always our top priority and planned for accordingly."

Concerns about the Australian shows were raised after My Chemical Romance also cancelled their sets at Download Japan on Thursday.

"We are terribly sad to postpone, and even more distressed about what is happening the world over," it said.

They were to be joined by the likes of Jimmy Eat World, The Bronx, Clutch, Ministry and Testament

Italian band Lacuna Coil pulled out of the festival earlier this month due to the outbreak in their home country. 

The announcement is the latest in a series of cancellations, with US legends Pixies yesterday postponing the remaining dates of their Australian tour. 

For more information about how COVID-19 is impacting the music industry, follow the link here.