Summerfest outright canceled after being moved to September

** FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE--FILE **People arrive for the opening day of Summerfest in Milwaukee,...
** FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE--FILE **People arrive for the opening day of Summerfest in Milwaukee, in this June 29, 2006, file photo. Since 1998, the city has invested $1.5 billion in assets to polish its image, that include a new Midwest Airlines convention center, the new ballpark called Miller Park, and the Santiago Calatrava-designed new addition to the Milwaukee Art Museum on the shore of Lake Michigan. (AP Photo/Morry Gash/FILE) (KFYR)
Published: Jun. 4, 2020 at 4:13 PM CDT
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The lakeside festival that draws hundreds of thousands of people to downtown Milwaukee each summer has canceled the event after earlier moving it to September.

Summerfest officials said Thursday that out of an "abundance of caution" for fans, artists, vendors and staff, the event will not take place this year.

Summerfest CEO Don Smiley says staff explored numerous options to operate the festival in a safe manner in light of the coronavirus outbreak, but could not find acceptable alternatives.

Summerfest, which bills itself as the world's largest music festival, said it has a $186 million economic impact annually. Organizers were to unveil the new $53 million American Family Insurance Amphitheater during the festival this year.

Summerfest, which began in 1968, is held at Henry Maier Festival Park, adjacent to Lake Michigan. It draws 800,000 to 900,000 people each summer.