After initially stating March 13 that it planned to move forward with its scheduled July 1-5 dates in New Orleans, Essence Fest 2020 announced late Friday (March 27) that it will move “closer to the fall” instead, given the heightened concerns around the coronavirus.
“Based on developments over the past couple of weeks, including updates from our city and health partners, we are officially announcing that we will move the 2020 ESSENCE Festival of Culture closer to the fall,” reads a tweet from the event’s account sent out just before 10 p.m. ET Friday.
Bruno Mars and Janet Jackson are set to headline the festival, though it remains to be seen whether the lineup will stay the same as the dates move around. In addition to Mars and Jackson, the 2020 Essence lineup includes Janelle Monae, Raphael Saadiq, Ari Lennox and Summer Walker.
Read the fest’s full statement below, and stay tuned to Billboard.com and the Essence Fest website for updates.