The Mann Center is officially canceling the remainder of its 2020 season. The Fairmount Park venue announced Wednesday afternoon that “due to the consequences of COVID-19,” it planned to “suspend completely” its concert schedule.
All of the shows that had been left on the calendar are being nixed, “because we’re still not in a phase where one has the ability to bring large gatherings of people together,” said Catherine M. Cahill, CEO and president of the Mann, which has a capacity of 14,500 in its most common configuration.
“That has not been approved or authorized by any of our state or city officials,” Cahill said. “And at this point, frankly, so many of the artists that would have come to the Mann, their tours are getting pushed into the following year.”
The announcement comes as no surprise. Wednesday morning, the Roots Picnic — the biggest event of the Mann season — announced that its Aug. 1 date was being called off. The Hall & Oates HoagieNation Festival, originally scheduled for May 23 and then Sept. 4, had also been taken off the schedule.
The Mann’s classical season was canceled in May, including all six of the Philadelphia Orchestra’s planned 2020 shows at its summer home.
On Tuesday, Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, who were scheduled to play at the Mann’s hilltop Skyline Stage on Sept. 23, canceled the entirety of their 2020 North American tour.
Aside from the Roots, that left only two shows on the city-owned venue’s original slate of over 20 summer pop concerts. Those were Lindsey Stirling: The Artemis Tour, featuring the pop violinist on Aug. 5, and the pairing of Wilco and Sleater-Kinney on Aug. 23 — one of the most anticipated rock shows of the summer. Now those shows aren’t happening either.
Officially, the Roots Picnic and HoagieNation have been postponed, without new dates announced. That means fans will be able to use the tickets for new dates that will presumably happen in 2021, and will not automatically get their money back. Information about how to request a refund can be found at livenation.com/refund.
Cahill said that the cancellation of all this year’s events at the open-air amphitheater means the loss of $23 million in revenue from concert tickets, parking,food, drinks, and other sources like rentals for graduations and private events.
The Mann began cutting costs in early April, furloughing nine employees, laying off three, reducing hours for 15, and cutting pay for eight. The venue, which is run as a nonprofit, has launched the Let The Music Play Resiliency Fund for the Mann to maintain the venue and pay for costs like insurance and fire protection. As of Wednesday, $400,000 had been raised towards a $2 million target.
Some of the Mann shows not happening this summer have already been rescheduled for next year. The Tedeschi-Trucks Band show with St. Paul & the Broken Bones planned for July 7 is now slated for July 6, 2021, and the Avett Brothers show on Sept. 24 is now meant to happen on June 9, 2021.