Wonderfront Faces the Music, Cancels 2021 Festival

Audience at Wonderfront Festival in 2019
Alex Matthews

San Diego's waterfront music festival, Wonderfront, which premiered along the Embarcadero in 2019 only to be delayed in 2020 by the pandemic, has now been canceled for the second year in a row.

The organizing team behind San Diego's Wonderfront Music & Arts Festival announced Thursday that it would push back the festival, originally slated for late fall of this year, until November 18-20, 2022.

Dozens of bands took to the stages on Day 2 of the inaugural Wonderfront Festival.

"We thought we’d be announcing the lineup," festival officials tweeted out on Thursday, "but sadly, we have been forced to postpone to 2022 due to the COVID surge. We were so excited as the lineup is amazing."

Wonderfront said it's hoping to announce that lineup later this fall.

"Extra safety protocol plans were being put in place, and the announcement was just about to go out to the world when the delta variant caused a skyrocketing surge of new COVID cases and hospitalizations in California and nationwide," organizers said in a news release.

Apparently, the Port of San Diego, on whose property the festival occurs, made the decision.

Day 1 of the inaugural Wonderfront Festival went off without a hitch thanks to grand performances by big name artists such as Miguel, Amine, Pepper, Parquet Courts, Lil Baby and more — take a walk on the waterfront with us.

"We pushed as long as we could working with the Wonderfront Festival team to see if case trends might look more positive or new information would give us the comfort level needed to move forward," Michael G. Brown, the Port of San Diego’s vice-president of marketing and communications, is quoted in the news release, adding that knowing "that people book advance travel to attend, and production crews have months of logistical planning to do, a final decision needed to be made."

Paul Thornton, managing partner of Wonderlust Events, said that organizers understood why the port made the decision, saying that "the Wonderfront community must come first. Once again, we will pivot and work with our artists to push this lineup to our new 2022 dates."

The inaugural Wonderfront festival came to a close with musical help from Los Ángeles Azules and San Diego's own Tribal Seeds.

Wonderfront 2019 featured more than 125 artists -- including headliners Ben Harper, MGMT and San Diego's own Slightly Stoopid -- playing across 10 stages over three-days. The event took place on San Diego Bay from the Broadway Pier to the Embarcadero parks. More than 57,000 people attended.

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