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Wonderfront Cancels 2020 Festival Because Of Coronavirus Pandemic

Wonderfront light-up sign at the Embarcadero in downtown San Diego on Nov. 22, 2019.
Matt Hoffman
Wonderfront light-up sign at the Embarcadero in downtown San Diego on Nov. 22, 2019.

The organizing team behind San Diego's Wonderfront Music & Arts Festival announced Friday they have canceled the 2020 event, originally scheduled for November, in light of ongoing concerns of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wonderfront, which held its inaugural event in November 2019, will return in 2021, organizers said.

"This announcement greatly saddens us. We held out as long as possible, hoping we would see enough indications that a large-scale festival event in the fall might be a realistic endeavor," said Paul Thornton, managing partner of Wonderlust Events. "However, due to the time and effort it takes to pull off a successful large event of this nature, and signals from Governor Gavin Newsom that events like music festivals aren't likely to be allowed until 2021, this announcement had to be made now."


Wonderlust 2019 featured more than 125 artists playing across 10 stages over three days. The event took place on San Diego Bay from Broadway Pier to the Embarcadero parks. More than 57,000 people attended.

The event was held on Port of San Diego property, and that agency will work with organizers to ensure the new festival can continue.

"The Port of San Diego proudly supported the 2019 Wonderfront Music & Arts Festival on San Diego Bay for the enjoyment of Californians and visitors to the region. Our events team looks forward to working with Wonderfront when we all are confident that an event of this size and scale can be conducted in a safe environment that meets the state's and the county of San Diego's guidelines to protect the health and safety of our community," said Michael G. Brown, Port of San Diego spokesman.

The festival's organizers are still planning for some kind of event this fall.

"We will work with government officials over the next several months to develop and adapt an upcoming event that will ensure the health and safety of our fellow San Diegans. It will be a collaboration in motion, so stay safe and know that we are looking forward to better days ahead for our beautiful city," said Ernie Hahn, managing partner of Wonderlust Events.


More information will be released in the coming months as it relates to a fall event.