The Americana Music Association confirmed on Thursday that AmericanaFest 2020, scheduled for Sept. 15-20 has been cancelled. At the same time, it teased some virtual events that it plans to announce next week.
"We’re currently working on something incredibly exciting for our community to be able to come together safely and connect with one another this fall," the non-profit said in a statement. "This will be an engaging experience unlike any other that we can all be a part of over the course of three days, no matter where you may live in the world." Details are set to follow on Thursday, June 18.
The AMA is planning on holding its Honors & Awards as scheduled from the Ryman Auditorium on Sept. 16. The statement did not say whether there will be an audience and the association didn't immediately reply to a request for further comment. Nominees for the awards will be announced on Monday.
Over 20 years, AmericanaFest has grown from a small industry insiders conference to a sprawling festival mingling hundreds of artist showcases with seminars and special events. Cary Baker, a veteran publicist and AmericanaFest attendee, spoke for many when he posted on Facebook that "I will miss getting to Nashville this year. But it's difficult to imagine social distancing at the High Watt Lounge or the Basement on 8th. And an AmericanaFest devoid of handshakes and hugs is inconceivable."