Due to the restrictions on the size of gatherings to slow the spread of COVID-19, promoter Danny Wimmer Presents has officially canceled the Epicenter, Welcome to Rockville and Sonic Temple festivals, all of which were to take place in May. The festivals will not be rescheduled this year but will return in 2021, according to a DWP statement.
On the brighter side, DWP also announced the Louder Than Life festival will be expanded to four days, now starting Thursday, Sept. 17, with Metallica returning to headline the first night. Metallica had been scheduled to headline Friday and Sunday nights of the festival, but had dropped off the bill for frontman James Hetfield to attend a mandatory “sober weekend.” The full Louder Than Life lineup will be announced soon.
The full DWP statement is 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.
“In addition to offering refunds, many of you have said that you would prefer to apply your 2020 purchases towards next year or exchange your pass for another one of our 2020 festivals. Based on your feedback, we are offering pass holders three options:
“(1) Full refund
“(2) Apply your pass to 2021”
(3) Exchange your pass for another 2020 DWP festival
“Complete details will be emailed out to our pass holders within 72 hours.
“We also know that you are anxious to find out who is playing Louder Than Life, Bourbon & Beyond and Aftershock. Please understand that here at DWP, we’ve been debating when it is appropriate to announce our lineups and put passes on sale for our remaining festivals. Our heads say we need to hold off on these announcements until we have more certainty in the world. But our hearts say the world needs positivity and some things to look forward to. We’ve been paying close attention to what you are saying on our social media and two themes consistently emerge. First, you do want something to remind you of the better days ahead. Second, times are financially hard for all of us.
“While we want nothing more than to give you the full lineups for Aftershock, Bourbon & Beyond and Louder Than Life, we just don’t feel like it’s the right time. But we did hear you loud and clear that you want some good news. And good news we have. We are adding a Thursday to 2020 Louder Than Life and, are you ready . . . the newly added Thursday will be headlined by none other than Metallica. Yes, Metallica is back! We simply couldn’t accept that after all we’ve gone through together this year that there would be no Metallica performance East of the Mississippi. And Metallica agrees!
“To assist you in the current financial climate, all current pass holders for Louder Than Life will be given the 4th day FREE. We are also deferring the next installment payment on the layaway plan for a month. And we will leave open the refund option for Louder Than Life through Friday, March 27 in case you need your money back.
“To try to make passes a little more affordable right now, anyone who wants to buy a pass for Louder Than Life can reserve a pass for $1 down per pass, with payments not starting until May 3 and split up evenly in May, June, July and August.
“We have also arranged for many of the bands from Sonic, Epicenter and Rockville to play at Louder Than Life and will be announcing that as soon as we feel appropriate. Because we were not able to reschedule the Spring festivals, we want Louder Than Life to be an inclusive celebration of all of those festivals. It’s not a perfect solution, but these are imperfect times. It is our sincere hope that we are all able to heal together with massive celebrations this Fall.
“While we don’t know if this pandemic will end in time for Hometown Rising, Louder Than Life, Bourbon & Beyond or Aftershock, rest assured that all passes will be refunded in the unfortunate event that any of these festivals are prevented from happening because of COVID-19.
“We want to thank you for your continued loyalty and support. We are blessed to have such an amazing Festival Family, and together, as a community, we will get through this. Please stay safe and look out for each other.”