For the third time in less than a year, organizers of Arizona’s largest music festival have been forced to reschedule the four-day event that historically attracts more than 100,000 fans.
Country Thunder, which was supposed to take place in early April, is now set for Oct. 14-17 at Canyon Moon Ranch, 20585 E. Price Road in Florence, where the festival has been held every April — except last year — since moving from Queen Creek to Florence in 2003.
“I think human nature right now tells us to wait and see, but in our world, these were the dates that would work best,” said Gerry Krochak, Country Thunder’s marketing and media relations director. “That’s when the artist availability was best going to work. We will continue following CDC and (local guidelines), and we think we have a good chance to play the show in October.”
Weeks before the 2020 festival was supposed to be held last April, organizers pushed the event to late October. But as the state’s COVID-19 numbers continued to climb last summer, they decided to scrap 2020 altogether, rescheduling most of the original lineup — with headliners Luke Combs, Eric Church, Morgan Wallen and Dustin Lynch — to April 8-11.
But organizers realized recently that might have been overly ambitious.
“We fully understand that the plans that we make now are totally fluid and might not be for October,” Krochak said. “I don’t think that anybody could be surprised by anything anymore.”
The Arizona festival, which dates to 1993 when it launched as Country Jam, is one of six multi-day country music festivals that Country Thunder puts on in North America. Events also are held in Kissimmee, Florida; Forest City, Iowa; Twin Lakes, Wisconsin; and in Alberta and Saskatchewan, Canada.
Country Thunder on announced Monday a new September date for the Florida festival, which had been set for March. So far, the Iowa festival in June, the Wisconsin event in July and the Canadian events in July and August are still on.
Tickets for the 2020 canceled dates will be honored for the October event, Krochak said. Ticketholders will be notified by email in the next week or so.
Meanwhile, single-day and four-day tickets are available online at countrythunder.com/az-tickets or by phone at 1-866-388-0007.
The October lineup also includes Ashley McBryde, Chris Janson, Hardy, Mitchell Tenpenny, Travis Denning, Parker McCollum, Tenille Townes, Dallas Smith, Meghan Patrick, Parmalee, Chicks With Hits (featuring Terri Clark, Pam Tillis and Suzie Bogguss), Kameron Marlowe, Drew Parker, Austin Jenckes, Seaforth and Nolan Sotillo.
Contact reporter Cathalena E. Burch at firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @Starburch