The spring season at Red Rocks Amphitheatre has been bludgeoned by COVID-19.
In a sweeping effort to protect public health, every April concert was shut down by city and state closures — including this week's various 4/20 celebrations. AEG and Live Nation, the two corporate promoters who dominate the schedule of the Denver City and County-owned venue, have also announced a string of cancellations through May and a few in June.
According to the Red Rocks calendar, only four May concerts are still scheduled: Global Dub Festival on May 16; Quinn XCII on May 21; Opiuo and Clozee on May 28; and Ziggy and Stephen Marley with Ben Harper & the Criminals on May 31. Quinn XCII is a Live Nation show, and the other three are promoted by AEG.
But according to city officials, the status of all future Red Rocks concerts is unknown.
"This is all dependent on government public-health orders regarding large gatherings," says Denver Arts & Venues spokesperson Brian Kitts. "No one knows when the industry will be given the green light to resume any type of business, so there won’t be any speculation regarding any of these events."
Some people in the music industry have shared their doubts that the nation's concert season can be restarted before autumn; Zeke Emanuel, director of the Healthcare Transformation Institute at the University of Pennsylvania, just told the New York Times Magazine that he doubts large events will be able to resume until fall 2021 — "at the earliest."
Global Dance, which co-promotes Global Dub Festival with AEG Presents, already canceled its main summer event, Global Dance Festival, which had been slated for July. But as of March 17, the company was still planning a mid-May event, and it hasn't updated its social feeds since then.
"Global Dance family, we know these are hard times right now, however we're thinking positive and looking forward to rejoining you all on the dance floor!" Global Dance posted on the Global Dub Festival website. "Until then, we're dreaming of brighter skies and coming together for Global Dub Festival at Red Rocks on May 16th. Stay safe and we'll see you all soon!"
Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre is now closed not just to events, but to any visitors; the popular exercise and hiking spot is entirely off limits. Mayor Michael Hancock has issued a stay-at-home order in place through April 30 in Denver; Governor Jared Polis has issued a stay-at-home order through April 26. City and state plans for reopening any event venues and public facilities have not been announced.
Here's AEG's position on cancellations and the stay-at-home order:
The Colorado COVID-19 mandate prohibiting mass gatherings made by the Governor of Colorado is still in effect, with many AEG Presents events being impacted.The full list of what's been canceled and rescheduled at Red Rocks:
Venues and events outside the end date of this moratorium may be impacted, and we will update weekly as information is available.
We hope to reschedule as many of the affected events as possible. For information regarding individual event dates, up to date information is reflected on each respective venue’s website and ticket page. If new dates are announced, there is nothing ticket purchasers need to do: tickets are valid for the new date and ticket purchasers to each respective event will be notified.
Refunds are automatically issued within 30 days for all cancelled events to the credit card used to purchase.
Snoop Dogg, Wiz Khalifa and Cypress Hill, April 16 (Canceled)
Ganja White Night — Wobble Rocks, April 17 to 19 (Postponed to November 6 to 8)
Ice Cube, Method Man & Redman, Action Bronson, April 20 (Postponed)
Galantis and 3LAU, April 24 (Postponed)
Lotus, April 25 (Canceled)
Five Finger Death Punch, April 27 (Postponed for October 14)
Trevor Hall / Citizen Cope, May 1 (Rescheduled for October 11)
Sublime With Rome, May 2 (Postponed)
King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, May 5 and May 6 (Rescheduled for October 12 and 13)
Hippie Sabotage, May 7 (Rescheduled for October 15)
Brantley Gilbert, May 8 and May 9 (Rescheduled, new dates TBA)
Die Antwoord, May 10 (Postponed)
The 1975, May 11 (Postponed)
Russ, May 13 (Rescheduled, new dates TBA)
In This Moment, May 17, (Postponed)
Hillsong, May 18 (Rescheduled for Friday, August 21)
Kevin Gates, May 19 (Canceled)
The Motet and Turkuaz, May 22 (Canceled)
The Devil Makes Three, May 23 (Canceled)
Chromeo/Madeon, May 29 (Canceled)
Jai Wolf, May 25 (Canceled)
Snails, June 20 (Canceled)
Correction, April 13: An earlier version of this story stated that Ganja White Night had been canceled. It has been rescheduled.