Amid coronavirus shutdowns, Tampa’s Sunset Music Festival ‘100% a go’

The May event could draw 50,000 fans over two days to Raymond James Stadium.
Dancers and stilt-walkers marched around as Kaskade performed on the main stage at the Sunset Music Festival in Tampa on May 26, 2019.
Dancers and stilt-walkers marched around as Kaskade performed on the main stage at the Sunset Music Festival in Tampa on May 26, 2019.
Published March 14, 2020|Updated March 14, 2020

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With St. Petersburg’s Reggae Rise Up and Tampa Bay Blues Festival postponing their 2020 editions due to the coronavirus pandemic, the next major multi-day music event in town is the Sunset Music Festival, set for May 23-24 at Raymond James Stadium.

And that one, for now, is still on.

Organizers of the electronic dance music festival met this week with Tampa city and public health officials to discuss plans for this year’s event, dubbed “Sunset 2.0," and came away with no major changes.

“At this time, Sunset 2.0 is 100% a go for Memorial Day Weekend,” organizers John Santoro, “Disco Donnie” Estopinal Jr. said in a statement on Saturday. “Please be assured that if anything changed, such as a cancellation or postponement, fans would have a choice of whether to keep their ticket or have it refunded.”

The statement said festival organizers were “taking the global health situation serious” and “moving forward with safety as the number one priority, while upholding the Sunset standards for production and artistry you have come to expect.”

Santoro’s company runs the Ritz Ybor, which has seen the postponement or cancellation of some rock shows (including Brian Fallon on March 17, Mayhem on March 31 and Sepultura on April 12, although its weekend EDM shows have mostly been unaffected. Saturday’s set by Kyle Kinch, for example, is still on.

The Sunset Music Festival, which in years past has drawn more than 50,000 fans over two days, has seen its share of problems in the past few years, including two festivalgoers who died from drug overdoses in 2016, and multiple weather evacuations and cancellations, including a full lost day in 2018.

This year’s Sunset Music Festival will feature Rezz, Seven Lions, Slander, NGHTMRE and more. Click here for details.

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