The Hattiesburg Concert Association, which presents FestivalSouth, announced Wednesday that the festival has been canceled and that all events have been moved to 2021.
However, online voting in the Best of the Pine Belt awards, which are sponsored by Signature Magazine, will continue.
“We decided to continue the online voting in the Best of the Pine Belt competition to have an outlet to focus on something different – even for a moment – as an opportunity to show your love for area people, places and things,” said a statement from association staff.
Now in its 11th year, the Best of the Pine Belt competition offers awards in the categories of music, neighbors, business and shopping, and food and drink. Currently, voting in the business and shopping category is open through April 19 and will be followed by voting in the food and drink categories from April 20 to May 3.
On May 4, all categories will reopen for voting with a push for votes through May 17. There will be a final voting round for the 12 categories presented at the annual awards show from May 18-22.
As for the festival, association staff members are working to “reimagine” the festival with some online content for the remainder of this year.
“FestivalSouth is planning to offer and share online content through its social media channels and in partnership with local, state and international presenters” throughout 2020, according to the statement.
“Our new 2020 vision is to provide you … with arts programming any way we can,” the statement said. “(We) look forward to a time where a possibility of public gatherings is reasonable. We, like you, hope that is very soon.”
Festival staff have been in touch with sponsors, donors and ticket holders about their continued support.
FestivalSouth is Mississippi’s only multi-week, multi-genre festival and offers both free and ticketed events to area residents and cultural tourists. Visit festivalsouth.org to learn more.