Music

Download Festival Has Been Cancelled Due To Coronavirus Fears

"We are devastated not to be able to deliver this show to Australian Downloaders as planned."

My Chemical Romance reunion happy photo

Download, the massive celebration of pop-punk and hardcore, has been cancelled in 2020 due to the international spread of coronavirus.

That particularly stings this year, given that the line-up was a once-in-a-lifetime feat of programming. Headliners My Chemical Romance haven’t played an Australian show in years; that they were heading Down Under so soon after a reformation was a genuine surprise, and a real treat for their longterm fans.

“To our dearest friends. It is with heavy hearts that we have decided to postpone our performances in Australia and New Zealand,” My Chemical Romance said in a statement. “We felt this was the right decision for our fans, our band, our crew, and our families given the current global situation. 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.”

Consequently, organisers have announced the entire festival will not go ahead.

“Given that this announcement has come barely 7 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,” organisers wrote in a festival this morning. “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 to be able to deliver this show to Australian Downloaders as planned.”

The reasons for cancelling such a massive event is two-fold. Firstly, all large gatherings of people are risky, given the potential for further spread of the disease. Secondly, and more important logistically, is the fears that bands will become stuck in transit, unable to return home.

“Moshtix will contact account holders on Monday 16th March via email with information regarding the refund process,” said Download organisers. “We apologise for any inconvenience and appreciate your patience. For any questions relating to your Download ticket purchase, please contact Moshtix directly.”

US President Donald Trump has just announced a European travel ban, stranding touring musicians overseas — there is understandable concern that borders could become closed to other countries following further flare-ups of coronavirus, disrupting tour plans and causing massive financial costs to touring musicians.

Of course, that is little consolation to those who were super excited at seeing their favourite band live.