The Neon Desert Festival will not be taking place this year after all.

After rescheduling from its usual Memorial Day weekend dates to Labor Day weekend because of the coronavirus pandemic, organizers of downtown El Paso’s biggest weekend party have decided to scrap it altogether in the best interest of public health.

Neon Desert Music Festival issued the following statement across its social media platforms:

Neon Desert will no longer be taking place this year. We wanted nothing more than to bring Neon Desert back to downtown El Paso this fall, but after careful monitoring of the current situation, we did not see a way to deliver the festival you know and love in 2020.

The best interests of our fans, artists, vendors, and staff will always be our top priority.

We will be working hard to bring El Paso the best Neon Desert Music Festival yet and we can't wait to celebrate our 10-year anniversary with you all next spring!

Sal Montez

With an average attendance of 20,000 people per day, the event is considered a big regional attraction. Visitors from other parts of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and as far away as California attend, as well as tens of thousands of locals.

Any other year that’s a good thing. But this year, with a virus that spreads by proximity, the interest of public health needed to be weighed against the economic impact and positive press a festival of this size brings our city. Especially in light of recent data showing the age groups seeing the biggest increase in positive cases are 20 and 30-somethings.

Neon Desert is the biggest local entertainment event the pandemic has forced the cancellation of.