The iHeartRadio Music Festival is a go, virtually of course, with the two-night event set to take place September 18th and 19th. This year marks the iHeartRadio Music Festival’s 10 year anniversary, although it will be significantly different from past years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But, as they say, the show must go on…in a safe way.
This year’s headliners include BTS, Coldplay, Kane Brown with special guest Khalid, Keith Urban, Migos, Miley Cyrus, Thomas Rhett, and Usher. American Idol‘s Ryan Seacrest will host the first-ever virtual iHeartRadio Music Festival.
According to the festival’s official announcement, fans will be treated to intimate backstage moments with artists as they reveal how they’re handling the COVID-19 pandemic and the ways it’s impacted their lives and families. Many of these artists were supposed to be on tour right now, including global superstars BTS who, along with their label Big Hit Entertainment, donated $1 million to Live Nation’s Crew Nation Campaign. Live Nation launched the campaign in late March to support the concert crews across the globe who’ve been impacted by COVID-19. Over 70 concert crew members who were originally scheduled to work at BTS’ concerts prior to the postponement have received funding thus far.
The remote performances included in the virtual festival will be filmed on stages in Los Angeles and Nashville. (The announcement didn’t indicate where BTS, not based in the U.S., would perform.) The festival will be available to watch live via The CW App and at CWTV.com beginning September 18th at 6pm PT/9pm ET. A festival highlights special will premiere on September 27 and 28th from 8-10pm ET/PT. The festival will also be broadcast on iHeartMedia stations.
John Sykes, president of entertainment enterprise for iHeartMedia, is putting in place a rigorous protocol to ensure the safety of the artists. Attendance at tapings will be monitored, with only approved crew allowed on-site. Stages will be thoroughly cleaned between acts.
Commenting on how fans can feel involved in this year’s extraordinary festival, Sykes told Variety, “There will be fans who will be connected talking one-on-one in the dressing room with artists.” iHeartRadio also confirmed a virtual audience and “fan wall” will be watching the performances, and some viewers will even have the opportunity to be serenaded by their favorite artists.
The annual musical festival normally draws 18,000 fans. The 2020 virtual festival will have a different feel, but fans should still be looking forward to some great performances while staying safe during this difficult time.