Outside Lands officially cancels 2020 festival; Hardly Strictly Bluegrass still holding out hope

By Camden Avery - Published on June 24, 2020.

After months of speculation, it's official: the Outside Lands festival, which had been set for Aug. 7-9, will not be happening in 2020. 

This year would have been the 13th for the annual music and food festival in Golden Gate Park, which regularly draws hundreds of thousands of people to see top national acts. This year's headliners were to have been Lizzo, Tame Impala and The Strokes. 

But amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the public health and safety concerns associated with such a large event — even an outdoor one — were deemed too risky.

However, the festival is already planning its 2021 rebound, with all three previously announced headliners — not to mention other big names like Tyler, the Creator, Vampire Weekend and the 1975.  

Those with passes for the 2020 fest are being encouraged to hold on to them, with the festival planning contests for some to get upgrades and other giveaways. For those who'd rather get their money back, refunds are being accepted through July 24. 

As for the 2021 festival, tickets will go on sale tomorrow, June 25, at 10 a.m.

Nearly all of San Francisco's iconic festivals have been felled by the pandemic, from Pride to the Stern Grove Festival to Bay to Breakers. But Outside Lands' Golden Gate Park counterpart, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, is still holding out hope.

"We are preparing for the fall with the hope that our event can take place," a representative said. 

Held each October, the free three-day festival would be celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. It regularly draws nearly 750,000 people.

Though this year's lineup has yet to be announced, last year's headliners included Emmylou Harris, Robert Plant, Fantastic Negrito and the New Pornographers.

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