This year’s XPoNential Music Festival has been canceled.
The sprawling three-day music festival, which is the signature event for adult-alternative University of Pennsylvania radio station WXPN-FM (88.5), was scheduled to take place from July 31 to Aug. 2 at Wiggins Park and the adjacent BB&T Pavilion in Camden.
The station said on Thursday that the decision to cancel the annual festival was made due to “the coronavirus pandemic and concerns for the WXPN community,” in conjunction with the Camden County Board of Freeholders and concert promoters Live Nation.
“We are heartbroken, and we know the artists, our members, business supporters, volunteers, and longtime attendees of this event are, too,” said WXPN’s general manager Roger LaMay. “However, given the magnitude of the current health crisis, we know this is the right thing to do.”
LaMay added, “We are committed to our community and are working on new ways to connect artists and audiences on the radio, online, and eventually even in-person with social distancing.”
Information about XPoNential refunds is available on the FAQ page of the XPNfest.org website. Ticketmaster will contact pass holders starting May 1.
Those who purchased passes for both the BB&T and Wiggins Park portions of the fest will have the option of a 100% refund or 150% credit to be used for future Live Nation shows. Wiggins Park-only pass holders will receive full refunds.
The scheduled headliners of this year’s fest at the BB&T were Nathaniel Rateliff, Grace Potter, and the Marcus King Band on Aug. 1 and Norah Jones, Mavis Staples, and Black Pumas on Aug. 2.
More than two dozen other acts, including New Pornographers, Liz Phair, the Districts, Molly Tuttle, Devon Gilfillian, Son Volt, Michaela Anne, and Arthur Thomas & the Funkitorum were scheduled to play next door during the fest’s three days in Wiggins Park.
The announcement follows New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy’s comments that as part of his plans to reopen the state, “concerts aren’t going to be anytime soon.” The likelihood of XPoNential taking place had dimmed on Wednesday when the Newport Folk Festival, which takes place the same weekend in Rhode Island with many of the same acts, canceled for this year.
News of XPoNential being nixed leads to the question of whether the Roots Picnic, slated for that same weekend at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts, will also be canceled.
The all-day Picnic which drew 25,000 to the Mann’s expanded campus last year, was originally scheduled for May 30 and later moved, due to coronavirus concerns, to Aug. 1. Live Nation declined to comment on whether that show will go on.