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Download Festival Australia falls victim to COVID-19

With large events, or even medium sized events being cancelled the world over in an attempt to curve the spread of COVID-19, social discourse around the likelihood of Download Festival Australia going forward reached fever pitch.

Today, the event’s organisers have confirmed the worst, that the event, much like SXSW and E3, will add its bones to the Coronavirus pile. The announcement comes after headliners My Chemical Romance issued a regrettable cancellation.

“It is with heavy hearts that we have decided to postpone our performances in Australia and New Zealand”, the band shared. “We felt this was the right decision for our fans, our band, our crew, and our families given the current global situation. We apologize to our fans, but please know that we didn’t come to this decision lightly. Thank you for your understanding and we look forward to being with you all again as soon as we can.  In the meantime, please be good to each other.”  

All ticket purchasers to the Download Melbourne and Sydney 2020 events will receive a full refund, including booking and payment processing fees. Download will be working with My Chemical Romance and Deftones to schedule separate headline shows in Australia in 2020, so watch this space. They are also working with a number of artists who have official Download side shows scheduled, to add headline shows in Sydney and Melbourne next week.

As of time of publish, there have been 78 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in New South Wales alone. Many of the new cases involve individuals who haven’t travelled, raising concerns around large public gatherings even further.

Per SBS, Premier Gladys Berejiklian commented at a press conference (which trumped Scott Morrison’s address of the nation last night) that the virus continues to pose an increasing threat, and that now things are not “business as usual”. Berejiklian did reiterate that there’s no cause to panic. If you have concerns, please head to our government’s official resource on the virus here.

“What you hear today might be different from tomorrow, might be different the next day. We are asking everybody to be alert.”


Friday, 20th March
Melbourne Showgrounds, Melbourne
Tickets: Download Festival

Saturday, 21st March
The Domain, Sydney
Tickets: Download Festival