Two annual festivals held in the French Quarter for the last several decades were canceled, organizers announced on Thursday, adding to the increasing financial blow to businesses and growing list of events nixed due to the shutdown of the New Orleans tourist economy caused by closures and stay-at-home orders issued during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a Twitter statement on May 7, the nonprofit organizer of the French Quarter Festival and Satchmo Summerfest said both 2020 events were officially canceled and were rescheduled in 2021.
Additionally, the organizer, French Quarter Festival, Inc., launched a resilience campaign to raise money that will cover the loss of revenue caused by the pandemic.
Mayor LaToya Cantrell issued a March 16 order closing certain businesses, including bars and live performance venues that compose much of the French Quarter. Gov. John Bel Edwards’ issued a statewide stay-at-home order on March 22, which was extended to at least May 15.
French Quarter Festival, which started in 1984 and is described as one of America’s largest free music festivals, was postponed until October this year but rescheduled for April 8 to 11 in 2021.
Satchmo Summerfest, which celebrates the life of New Orleans jazz trumpeter Louis Armstrong and is held in early August, is rescheduled for July 30 to August 1, 2021.
Both festivals combined contribute to the generate substantial financial support annually for businesses and musicians in the French Quarter.
Jazz, Voodoo and Essence festivals were also canceled this year due to coronavirus.
People who visited the New Orleans in 2017 contributed nearly $8.8 billion to the local economy, according to the city’s Tourism Marketing Corporation, which spent almost $16.7 million promoting the city in the same year.