The U.S. is the latest nation across the globe to begin implementing emergency measures in the face of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Last Friday (March 16), Donald Trump declared a national emergency as states across the country continue to shore up their defenses to combat the spread of the virus.
As part of these safety precautions, schools and universities across the country have shut down while large-scale events and music concerts are being canceled or postponed. The event organizers behind South by Southwest and Ultra Music Festival have canceled the 2020 iteration of their festivals.
The NBA announced it was suspending the remainder of the season after two players tested positive for the coronavirus. And now, multiple states have announced that public venues will remain closed amid restrictions being imposed to limit mass gatherings. Disney has also shuttered its parks and New York City closed down Broadway amid the coronavirus outbreak.
However, the 2020 Essence Festival of Culture is not being canceled — just yet. The event organizer’s have revealed how they plan to handle the festival in the event the coronavirus is still around this summer.
In a statement released to Billboard, Essence Communications conveyed that the company is waiting to see how the coronavirus continues to unfold before calling the event off, and they are working on putting measures in place should that time come.
“Based on the latest information, including increasing public health interventions and measures being implemented domestically and internationally, and the considerable amount of time to assess and respond to developments between now and July, we are planning to proceed with the 2020 ESSENCE Festival of Culture as currently scheduled, July 1-5 in New Orleans,” the letter reads. “Still, as a precautionary and proactive measure and with health as the foremost consideration, we are also identifying and securing alternate dates to ensure that we can adjust as quickly and seamlessly as possible in the event that circumstances require. Should that happen, we will honor all tickets sold for prior scheduled dates.”
Read Essence Communications’ full statement here.
(Photo: Josh Brasted/Getty Images)