Recommended Aussie Tunes:Psycroptic | The new single "A Fragile Existence" | Listen

Articles : Download Festival Australia 2020 cancelled. What does this mean?

By on March 14, 2020
Photo: Rebecca Houlden

This is rumour control. Here are the facts. At 9:30 am on Friday, 13th March 2020, organisers of the Download Festival Australia regrettably announced the cancellation of the festival in Melbourne and Sydney, including all subsequent sideshows.

The promotional team behind the festival announced this was due to My Chemical Romance, one of the main headliners of the festival pulling the pin due to cancelling live appearances in Japan, due to the growing pandemic of the Coronavirus in the region. MCR was not the first band to cancel their appearance at the festival due to the virus, as Italian symphonic metallers Lacuna Coil announced their cancellation early last week, as during that time Italy was going through a major pandemic of its own.

Given the cancellation of MCR was literally seven days out from the festival the promotion team advised patrons they were unable to secure an alternative headliner due to insufficient time to arrange logistics, visas and so forth.

Since the main headliner pulled out from the festival, a unanimous decision was made from the Download Australia team to cancel the entire festival. This news came after the Australian Federal Government confirmed that ‘non-essential’ gatherings of more than 500 people would be cancelled due to the overwhelming concerns of the Coronavirus. Since the announcement, the F1 Grand Prix and football season have either been pushed back or been put on hiatus indefinitely.

“Why don’t they just allow the festival to go ahead, regardless of My Chemical Romance performing?”, I hear you scream. Well, unfortunately, due to the nature of current events and the inability of a small percentage of the populous to follow simple instructions; like washing your hands when you’re supposed too, cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough and most importantly, not buy all the fucking toilet paper and hand sanitizer. We can see why its a little difficult to trust anyone in this current environment, but I digress.

Unfortunately, this will cause a major shockwave in the music industry and put not only a lot of bands at risk of their health, but also potentially lose work because of it. This would also impact promoters, publicists, sound and lighting techs, venues and so on. We can already see the ramifications of this not only in Australia but also in America, Europe and Japan with multiple tours and festivals being cancelled or on the verge of being cancelled until further notice. This is also a cause for concern for major touring companies like Live Nation, who are the major promotional entity behind Download Festival in Australia.

On Wednesday, 11th March, Live Nation’s stock lost $1.8 billion dollars in a single day due to the cancellation of multiple tours and festivals. That may not seem like much when the company brings in annual revenue of over $10 billion dollars a year, as of 2017. But that’s still a lot of money to lose, especially when the costs of touring visa, logistics and transportation for multiple bands within Australia come into play.

So, what does this mean for patrons who were planning to go to Download Festival?

Well, there is some good news as music venues in Melbourne and Sydney have come to the recuse. On Friday, 20th at Stay Gold in Melbourne there is a Download cancellation Emo and Pop Punk party. Click here for full details. On the same day in Sydney, Crowbar will host an event called Crowdown. No lineup has been announced as yet but all details can be found here. In addition, Bang nightclub in Melbourne will host Bangload on Friday, March 27th. Click here for full details.

There is also plenty of other ways you can help support bands, both locally and internationally from hereon in. If a band have a local show on, go see them. No doubt the limitations of the newly implemented “non-essential” gatherings restriction in Australia will come into play with international touring artists, but there is still plenty of local bands you can see and support throughout this transition.

Another great way of supporting bands and artists is buying their music. While the majority of bands and music fans around the world think its the bee’s knees to have a record label or distribution, they forget these entities expect a percentage in return for their work. A good way to continue supporting bands without making them feel like a prostitute from the 1900s is buying their music from outlets like Bandcamp or the band’s themselves (if they offer such a service).

This way the bands get a better cut of profits to help with future releases, tours, merch etc and fans reap the benefits of high-quality music, knowing they did their part. I guess the most obvious thing to do if you want to see bands survive in this day and age is take a page from the human garbage bin that is Jake Paul and “…buy that merch“.

Purchasing band t-shirts, CDs, vinyl, lighters, cassette tapes, stubby holders…literally anything a band can slap their name on that can be considered merchandise is the best way to support the band or artists, and guarantee them a wage and a reason to live.

Moshtix will be contacting account holders from Monday, 16th March via email with information on the refund process. Those wanting more information can head to

To keep up with all things Download Australia related head to the official Download Australia Facebook page.


Anwar is the editor-in-chief of Metal When Anwar isn't busy promoting tours, interviewing bands and reviewing awesome music, he loves to collect metal vinyl and play video games. Follow Metal Obsession on Twitter and Facebook