Published Apr 23, 2020The 2020 Calgary Stampede has been officially cancelled due to ongoing coronavirus concerns.
"There will be no stampede for the first time in 97 years," organizers stated in an announcement today. "It's hard, but it's the right thing to do."
The Stampede also announced that it has had to lay off 80 percent of its employees because of the cancellation.
"This is an extremely difficult announcement to share, but it is the right thing to do," said Dana Peers, the Calgary Stampede president and chairman of the board, in a statement. "As a community celebration, the cancellation of our annual event comes with our community and public health and safety front of mind."
In a press release issued on the Stampede's website, communications & media relations manager Kristina Barnes wrote that despite the summer festival's cancellation, there will be community events held in fall and winter.
"With the best interests of the community in mind, the organization's focus will now shift to fall, winter and spring events at Stampede Park, as well as planning for the 2021 Stampede," she wrote. "When it's appropriate, we will gather together to celebrate. We are also looking for new ways to bring western hospitality to the community as we collectively navigate through this difficult time."
Tickets purchased through Ticketmaster for this year's event will be automatically refunded. Ticketholders who purchased through the Stampede Box Office will have their tickets deferred to the same seat, section and day for the 2021 event. Box Office customers should send their refund requests directly to the Stampede if they do not wish to defer.
The event was scheduled to take place from July 3 to 12 this year with Blake Shelton headlining.
Initially, organizers held off on fully cancelling the event, stating that the "Stampede 2020 planning has been on hold since restrictions were placed on mass gatherings," and that the event would "continue to be paused until we receive further direction from our government partners."
Prior to the Stampede's cancellation, Alberta's chief medical officer of health had banned all gatherings of more than 15 people indefinitely due to COVID-19.