Canceled Events Hope for a Second Chance in Fall

Canceled Events Hope for a Second Chance in Fall

Rush of sports, music and other festivities hoping to rise again in autumn

Wall Street Journal / Neil Shah / March 24, 2020

(Photo courtesy

For weeks, Americans have watched an unprecedented number of cultural institutions cancel or postpone events due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In recent days, the opposite problem has arisen: Many highlights of the cultural calendar that formerly stretched through spring and summer—from the Kentucky Derby and Coachella and Bonnaroo music festivals to the French Open—are now being rescheduled to a single season: the fall.

New dates in the fall, of course, could end up being re-jiggered as well. It is too soon to say when large gatherings will be considered safe again from a public-health standpoint. But for now, event planners agree, the scramble to reposition in the autumn is like nothing many of them have seen before.

Across the worlds of sport, music and art, not to mention other types of cultural events, this fall is shaping up to be one of the busiest ever.

The Kentucky Derby, which has run every year since 1875, has announced it is moving from its customary first Saturday of May to Sept. 5. Since 1901, the famous horse race in Louisville, Ky., has always happened in May—except once. (It was moved to June in 1945 during World War II.) 

The French Open, normally held in late May and June, has been postponed to Sept. 20 to Oct. 4. That puts it one week after another major tennis tournament, the U.S. Open, which lasts until Sept. 13. The French Open now clashes with the Laver Cup in Boston, which is in late September.

Countless other events have been rescheduled to this fall. The Boston and London marathons have moved to Sept. 14 and Oct. 4, respectively. The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books is now set for Oct. 3-4. Smaller observances have rescheduled, too, like the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Yonkers, N.Y., to Sept. 19, and the annual gala of the Gordon Parks Foundation, to Oct. 12.

One of the sectors hardest hit so far is live music. Coachella, held in Indio, Calif., has announced it would move from April to October, along with its sister festival, the Stagecoach Country Music festival. Bonnaroo, held in Manchester, Tenn., will decamp to Sept. 24-27. Atlanta’s Shaky Knees will now be held Oct. 16-18. The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, too, has announced it will move to the fall, but no date had been set at the time this article was published.

Music-awards shows have been postponed as well. The Academy of Country Music Awards has been rescheduled for Sept. 16. The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland has postponed its annually televised induction ceremony from May 2 to Nov. 7.

There has been an avalanche of cancellations and postponements of auto-related events.

The opening race of the Formula 1 racing season has been canceled. The Australian Grand Prix has also been canceled, race organizers announced.

The NHRA announced Gatornationals, the annual drag racing event, was canceled. The news comes after a member of the McLaren Racing Team tested positive for COVID-19, the statement said.

NASCAR announced they would postpone race events at Atlanta Motor Speedway and Homestead-Miami Speedway over the next two weeks. NASCAR had originally announced it would race without fans in attendance and only drivers, crews and other necessary personnel, but have now reversed that decision.

Auto shows worldwide are also being impacted. The Geneva International Motor Show was canceled; the New York International Auto Show has been postponed from April to late August. The Detroit North American International Auto Show moved from January (last show in 2019) to June 9-20, 2020. As of now, this event is proceeding as planned.

Events that TREMEC participates in are also impacted. Our events calendar will be updated as information becomes available.