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Skyrocketing numbers of COVID-19 cases in Louisiana have forced the cancellation of this year's New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.
The annual event was to take place in October and is one of the city's largest attractions next to Mardi Gras, CBS News reported.
In a website post Monday, organizers cited "the current exponential growth of new COVID cases in New Orleans and the region" as the reason for the cancellation.
The Louisiana Department of Health reported 6,100 new coronavirus cases as of Monday, and low vaccination rates are one of the reasons for the spike in cases, according to public health officials, CBS News reported
This is the second year in a row that the music festival has been silenced by the pandemic. Headliners for the festival, which typically draws half a million music lovers, were to include Stevie Nicks, H.E.R., the Foo Fighters, Nora Jones, Elvis Costello, Wu-Tang Clan and Jon Batiste, CBS News reported. In a tweet on July 24, the festival announced the addition of the Rolling Stones, for which it had added an unprecedented extra day to the two-weekend event. Earlier this year, the festival had been rescheduled for October from its original dates in spring.
Every year, the world-renowned festival pumps an estimated $300 million into the local economy, CBS News reported.
Next year's event is scheduled for April 29 to May 8, CBS News reported.
"In the meantime, we urge everyone to follow the guidelines and protocols put forth by public health officials, so that we can all soon experience together the joy that is Jazz Fest," organizers said.
Rising U.S. coronavirus case numbers driven by the highly contagious Delta variant also forced the cancellation of the annual New York International Auto Show, which is typically the largest convention gathering in New York City each year, CBS News reported.
However, the pandemic didn't put the brakes on the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota. The 10-day gathering, which began Friday, is expected to attract as many as 700,000 visitors and generate an estimated $800 million in sales for the local economy.
SOURCE: CBS News
Robert Preidt and Robin Foster
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