Atlanta Jazz Festival postpones 43rd annual event due to coronavirus

Allan Harris plays to an early crowd on the Legend Stage during the Atlanta Jazz Festival Saturday in Piedmont Park, May 27, 2017. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Atlanta Jazz Festival, one of the largest free jazz festivals in the country. STEVE SCHAEFER / SPECIAL TO THE AJC
Allan Harris plays to an early crowd on the Legend Stage during the Atlanta Jazz Festival Saturday in Piedmont Park, May 27, 2017. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Atlanta Jazz Festival, one of the largest free jazz festivals in the country. STEVE SCHAEFER / SPECIAL TO THE AJC

Credit: Steve Schaefer

Credit: Steve Schaefer

The annual Atlanta Jazz Festival is taking a break this spring, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to prevent live music gatherings.

The Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs made the decision to postpone the 43rd annual event “out of an abundance of caution.” The free jazz festival is held Memorial Day Weekend (May 23-24 this year) at Piedmont Park. Organizers are still looking at other dates to possibly produce the event later this year.

Camille Love, executive director of the OCA, said in a statement that even though Atlanta’s shelter-in-place directive will be over by late May, large gatherings will still be discouraged. The Atlanta Jazz Festival typically draws a crowd of about 150,000 throughout the weekend.

Two fest-adjacent events - the May 22 India.Arie concert at Cadence Bank Amphitheatre at Chastain Park and May 23 Late Night Jazz Jam with the Irreversible Entanglements – have been canceled.

The OCA is creating a new program called, "Atlanta Jazz Festival Sessions," which will celebrate the 31 Days of Jazz in May and also provide Atlanta jazz artists the opportunity to perform virtually via the Atlanta Jazz Festival social media platforms. More details will be announced soon on www.atlantafestivals.com.

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