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Musicians, vendors heartbroken, but not surprised over Jazz Fest cancellation

"I read it and I just went, 'Well, okay, 2022 here we come,'" Cowboy Mouth Lead Singer and Drummer, Fred LeBlanc said.

NEW ORLEANS — Musicians, vendors, business owners are all disappointed over the news that Jazz Fest has officially been canceled for this October, but many are not surprised as they have watched COVID numbers spike. 

Jazz Fest organizers made the announcement Sunday afternoon through a press release and over social media. The announcement said:

 "As a result of the current exponential growth of new COVID cases in New Orleans and the region and the ongoing public health emergency, we must sadly announce that the 2021 edition of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival presented by Shell, scheduled to take place October 8 –17, 2021, will not occur as planned."

John Perkins plays the trumpet in Kinfolk Brass Band. They were set to perform on the first Saturday of Jazz Fest this October, but learned through social media it was canceled.

"I kind of figured it would be coming up, especially with the rise in cases, but of course I felt disappointed by the entire ordeal," Perkins said. "I thought things were getting back to normal, but here we are.”

Jazz Fest organizers announced they are moving forward with plans for Jazz Fest in 2022. The announcement said: "We now look forward to next spring when we will present the Festival during its traditional time frame."

"I read it and I just went, 'Well, okay, 2022 here we come,'" Cowboy Mouth Lead Singer and Drummer, Fred LeBlanc said. 

Cowboy Mouth was set to perform on the first Friday.

"It's pretty devastating, but that just gives us more reason to raise a lot more hell in 2022 and believe me we will," LeBlanc said. 

Next year's dates are scheduled for April 29 through May 8, 2022.

"I just hope first off, we do what we have to do to get there," Perkins said. 

"Have faith. You gotta have faith," LeBlanc said. 

It was just announced about two weeks ago, The Rolling Stones would perform on a special Jazz Fest Wednesday. That too was canceled. 

"We're such a fun city and people love coming here because of that and to have it not happen again, is really hard to hear," Monica Davidson and Pierre Hilzim with Crawfish Monica said. 

Davidson and Hilzim know this is a tough hit for many vendors and businesses who benefit from the busy Jazz Fest weekends. 

"It's such a shame because I know how hard this decision was, both from a business point of view and emotional point of view, it's tough," they said. 

Mayor Cantrell tweeted: "Appropriate, but really disappointing. We believe that the Jazz Fest organizers made the right call, heartbreaking though it is."

Jazz Fest organizers said in their announcement: "We urge everyone to follow the guidelines and protocols put forth by public health officials so that we can all soon experience together the joy that is Jazz Fest."

If you already purchased tickets, including rollover tickets from 2020, you will receive an email this week with details about the ticket refund and rollover process. Tickets for the Wednesday, October 13 show featuring The Rolling Stones will be automatically refunded.