Desertfest NYC 2020 Canceled; Seeking New Venue

The bummer we all knew was coming. I was reading a news story the other day that was a round-table of virologists, epidemiologists and other doctory-types talking about when they would feel comfortable doing certain things in public again. Way down at the bottom of the list, consensus on attending a concert or other performance was at least a year off. Would you ever have imagined a whole year lost? I don’t think that will be the case worldwide, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s the case in the US given the mishandling of the response to the pandemic, and even when things open up again, what’s that going to be like? Will people be comfortable going out? A generation has been traumatized. Will it take another generation before it’s really over?

I don’t think COVID-19 is the end of live music. People have been performing for other people since before homo sapiens evolved. Fish do that shit. It’s how you get laid. But I think we might be in a moment where we see a fundamental shift in how live music happens. Do venues do limited tickets at a higher price? Does scarcity become the commodity? Do you pay $45 to be one 50 people at a social-distance-friendly gig at Saint Vitus Bar? I don’t know where we’re heading.

To the point here, I’m sorry to see Desertfest NYC caught up in this shit. Last year’s inaugural edition was a great time and I was holding out hope that by September things might be back to some semblance of what used to be normal. Twice the bummer here since I didn’t know The Well — the venue that hosted the festival; not to be confused with the band from Austin, Texas — isn’t coming back. That’s a loss too. There are a ton of bars and venues in New York, but not nearly as many can accommodate multiple stages, let alone one outdoors. They’ll have a good search ahead of them, I think. But hell, they’ve probably already got it solved. No one tells me anything.

At least I hope that’s the case.

Here’s their announcement:

desertfest nyc 2020 cancelled

Hello all, it is with heavy hearts that we must confirm the cancellation of this year’s Desertfest NYC due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, there are a few things we need to clear up – firstly, we want to apologise for this information being communicated via Ticketweb, this happened without our consent. Second, we found out our event was being cancelled and not postponed until Sept 2021 (as discussed with the venue) at the same time you did. It seems our main venue, The Well, are sadly shutting their doors. We understand and sympathise with this devastating time for so many businesses, but we were not given a heads-up to be able to come out with concrete next steps.

We had planned to roll over all our bands to Sept 2021 and were set to announce this, with some new names on the bill, next week. We are still firm on moving ahead with this plan, but will now need your patience and understanding as we try to find a new venue that works within our parameters. In regards to options for refunds, the ticketing is being handled by The Well, so we ask for a little more time here as we try to understand what options there are for our customers.

Desertfest NYC is an independent venture run by 4 people, who run the sister events in London, Berlin & Antwerp. This is not the way we operate and we want to sincerely apologise for this situation, we hope you are able stand with us as we work on delivering a second edition of our US festival. We will be back in Fall 2021…

Thank you for your understanding. Stay safe out there.

Mirror Queen, “Curse the Night” Live at Desertfest NYC 2019

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