Taylor Swift cancels 'Lover Fest' world tour as major music festivals face an uncertain summer

'I miss you terribly and can’t wait 'til we can all safely be at shows together again,' says the US singer

Taylor Swift, winner of the artist of the decade award, performs a medley at the American Music Awards in Los Angeles on Nov. 24, 2019. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
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Taylor Swift cancelled her Lover Fest world tour, citing uncertainty over the pandemic.

The US pop star announced the news on Friday, stating the current period is not conducive for launching a full-blown tour.

News of the cancellation comes after Swift initially postponed a string of tour dates last April. Fans who held on to tickets are eligible for refunds.

“It's not my favourite thing in the world to have to tell you news I'm sad about. I'm so sorry, but I cannot reschedule the shows that we've postponed,” Swift said.

“Although refunds have been available since we first postponed the Lover Fest shows, many of you hung onto your tickets and I too hung onto the idea that we could reschedule.”

Swift added: “This is an unprecedented pandemic that has changed everyone's plans and no one knows what the touring landscape is going to look like in the near future.

“I'm so disappointed that I won't be able to see you in person as soon as I wanted to. I miss you terribly and can't wait until we can all safely be at shows together again."

Initially announced in September 2019, Lover Fest was a series of 12 shows playing in stadiums, festivals and arenas in support of that year's album Lover, Swift's seventh release.

The globe-trotting trek was set to begin in June 2020 and include career highlights, such as headlining that year's cancelled Glastonbury Festival, as well as being the inaugural concerts for Los Angeles's SoFi Stadium and the Gillette Stadium, which is located on the outskirts of Boston.

Swift has yet to announce any new shows or a tour to promote 2020's acclaimed twin album release, Folklore and Evermore.

Play and pause for live events

The cancellation of one of the industry's most anticipated tours underscores the various challenges facing the live music industry.

With no clear indication or consensus of when it will be safe to hold large-scale events, the resumption of physical performances is occurring at a staggered pace.

January saw Glastonbury cancel its event for the second year running, while other English music events, the Reading and Leeds Festivals, announced they will go ahead after the UK government released a timetable for relaxing coronavirus restrictions.

Headliners confirmed for those festivals include Stormzy, Post Malone, Liam Gallagher, Queens of the Stone Age and Lewis Capaldi.

Other major music occasions pressing ahead this year include Roskilde Festival. Headlined by rapper Kendrick Lamar, the Danish festival is running from Saturday, June 26 to Saturday, July 3.

The Montreux Jazz Festival, one of the world's biggest events dedicated to the genre, also announced its intention to return to its picturesque location in Lake Geneva, Switzerland, from Friday, July 2 to Saturday July 17, after cancelling 2020's festival for the first time in its 53-year-history.

Meanwhile, Spain's Primavera Sound festival, held in Barcelona, announced it was running from Wednesday, June 2 to Sunday, June 6.

The resumption of the annual festival comes after a successful pilot event conducted last December.

Nearly 500 masked people attended the mini festival after signing a declaration stating they had not been diagnosed with Covid-19 within the previous 14 days, followed by rapid onsite testing prior to entry.

It remains to be seen if Primavera will be downscaled and what social distancing measures will be in place.

Two of the continent's biggest dance festivals, Croatia's Ultra Europe and Tomorrowland in Belgium also announced their intention to return in June. As of yet, there has been no official confirmation on whether or not the event will still go ahead.

Tomorrowland spokeswoman Debby Wilmsen told The National last December that even if the industry eventually returns to normal, the festival will invest in digital events for the foreseeable future.

"We could see virtual festivals becoming an ongoing experience we provide people," she said.