The two Blues On The Green shows planned for this week will be postponed because of the recent surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.
The event organizers, Austin City Limits Radio, said in a statement Monday that “as a result of the latest wave in this public health emergency,” they will be postponing the shows scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday. The events were set to feature Grupo Fantasma, Sir Woman and others.
“This was wholly our call and we’re grateful for the understanding and cooperation we’ve received from the artists that were set to play, the sponsors and vendors that make Blues On The Green possible, the Austin Parks and Recreation Department, and the Austin public health officials we’ve consulted with all along the way,” the statement said.
Blues On The Green is a 30-year-old Austin tradition. The annual free concert series takes place at Zilker Park in the summer. Because of the pandemic, the event didn’t take place at Zilker last year; instead, organizers livestreamed concerts from Stubb’s Bar-B-Q in October.
The event returned this year, as more people got vaccinated against the coronavirus. Two Blues On The Green shows took place in July — featuring Gary Clark Jr., Jackie Venson, Jimmie Vaughan, Mobley and Kalu and the Electric Joint — before organizers decided to postpone the last two dates.
Austin moved on Thursday to Stage 5, the highest level of Austin Public Health’s COVID-19 risk-based guidelines. Health officials said this is the fastest COVID-19 surge the pandemic has seen so far. It’s been spurred by the highly contagious delta variant and stagnant vaccination rates.
APH is reporting an average of 418 new cases in Travis County per day. Officials are reporting an average of 78 new COVID-19 hospitalizations per day in the five-county region (Travis, Williamson, Hays, Bastrop and Caldwell). Capacity at intensive care units is at its lowest point yet.
The best defense against the disease, health officials say, is to get vaccinated.
Rescheduled dates for Blues On The Green haven’t been announced yet.
“Right now, this is the way,” the event organizers said. “And in the meantime, we urge everyone to follow public health protocols laid out by the city and to get vaccinated so we can again enjoy free live music in Zilker Park.”