Is summer canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic? Not exactly, but some summer events and activities can’t happen while social distancing is in effect.
This summer, things are going to be a bit different. The coronavirus pandemic and the social distancing efforts to limit its spread mean that summertime events that draw big crowds are likely going to be canceled soon, if they haven’t been already.
We’re all looking forward to summer fun in the sun after being cooped up for months on end, but if we aren’t careful, all that time we spent inside trying to flatten the curve will have been for naught.
Summer event organizers are paying close attention to COVID-19 developments to determine if they can make adjustments to their current summer schedules or if canceling summer activities is the best way to keep us safe.
Which Summer Events Have Been Canceled?
Major music festivals like Summerfest, Pitch Fork and Coachella have been canceled and touring bands like Phish, Rage Against the Machine and The Foo Fighters have postponed or rescheduled tour dates. In Chicago, the famed Ravinia Music Festival canceled its entire season. Billboard music has compiled a list of all of the major festivals and concerts that have been canceled or postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic (check it out here). On the bright side, Billboard also has an updated list of all of the live streams and virtual concerts musicians are hosting online (check it out here).
Spring events like the Boston Marathon and the Kentucky Derby have been postponed until September. Adobe’s Live Summit and the REV’d Up Media Summit are going virtual. TED 2020 was originally postponed from April until late July, but the organizers might move the event online. Virtual conferences and webinars have made it possible for many networking and live learning events to continue online, albeit in a different format.
Which Summer Events Are Up in the Air?
Whether your kids go to daycamp or overnight experiences, the YMCA and the American Camp Association released an 82-page guide for opening summer camps this summer. It emphasizes that camps should only open where state and local authorities permit it and in locations that have met the criteria for “Phase 2” and “Phase 3” reopening as designated by the Trump Administration. The field guide also includes their safety plan for screening for symptoms of COVID-19 and limiting the risk of exposure. Their suggestions include planning for smaller groups, cleaning equipment and facilities more frequently and providing more equipment so campers don’t have to share. All of that costs money that camps haven’t planned for, which might make it harder for summer camps to open, or more expensive for campers to attend. Many religious camps have already canceled summer programs rather than try to create new safety plans.
Amusement parks like Disney, Universal and Six Flags are strategizing how they can operate this summer. Disney Springs in Orlando announced a phased reopening starting May 20, 2020. It limits admissions, parking and operating hours. Six Flags doesn’t have a public reopen date, but it does plan on reopening in most regions this summer and will have guests purchase advanced reservations similar to Disney to prevent overcrowding. Universal also plans to reopen at the end of May and is offering guests two free days when they buy two days before August 13, 2020.
On a more regional level, things like public pools, hiking trails, beaches, parks, farmers’ markets and park district events are up in the air and like summer camps, their ability to reopen will be determined by federal, state and local regulations put in place to limit the spread of the coronavirus.
Is Summer Canceled Because of the COVID-19 Pandemic?
Summer is not canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The weather will still be warm, flowers will bloom and people will still gather for fun in the sun, just in smaller crowds with masks on and enough space between us to keep us safe.