Draws or Withdraws? What's Happening to Events Throughout the World in 2021

Draws or Withdraws? What's Happening to Events Throughout the World in 2021
The shadow of the pandemic still hangs over the event calendar, Photo Credit:

The Tokyo Olympics are finally returning but music lovers will have to wait for Coachella. Here are all the updates on which events are cancelled this year—and which ones are returning

Prannay Pathak
May 14 , 2021
05 Min Read

A lot has taken place lately in the world of events in the past few days. This is especially noteworthy, as everybody knows, because of the pandemic we are in the middle of. So, while Germany decided to call off its biggest annual attraction, Oktoberfest, for the second time in a row, India has gone ahead with announcing the dates of the little-known, three-day Sindhu Darshan festival to be held in the scenic desert landscape of Leh. 

The contagion is well under control in Germany as of today, and India continues to reel under the devastating second wave, which also claimed the IPL, India's big-ticket, marquee T20 league. With social gatherings still a matter that event authorities are circumspect about throughout the world despite immunisation drives and relaxation in masking rules in some countries, here's a list of some much-anticipated events and their current status. Take a look:


Originally scheduled for 2020, the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup to be held in Australia, was first postponed to 2021 and then to 2022. The World Test Championship final between India and New Zealand, however, will go ahead as per plan in June in England.

The remainder of the IPL might be held later this year in the UAE, with Sri Lanka and England also being possible venues.

Wimbledon is set to take place from June 28 to mid-July, with a possible spectator capacity of 25%.

Tokyo's New National Stadium
Originally supposed to be held in 2020, the
Tokyo Olympics will kick off with an opening ceremony on July 23.

The French Open, also known as the Roland Garros, will start on May 24, with a delay of a week in the original schedule.

Normally organised in April, the 125th edition of the Boston Marathon has been pushed to October 11. The event was cancelled in 2020.


Sunburn Festival 2021 has not yet been cancelled (tentative dates: December 27-29) but with cases surging and a third wave expected, chances remain bleak. Some are speculating that a hybrid version of the event might be held. For other major music fests in India such as the Ziro Festival of Music, the Jodhpur RIFF and others, updates are awaited.
A musician at the Ziro Festival of Music

Southern California's Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival and Glastonbury Festival, too, are cancelled for 2021.

The Essence Festival of Culture in New Orleans, however, is hosting a hybrid experience over two weekends. Dates: June 25-27 and July 2-4

Similarly, the wildly popular Austin City Limits Music Festival is making a return this year over two different weekends: October 1-3 and October 8-10

Mad Cool, tipped as the Coachella of Spain, will be held from July 7 to 10 in Madrid. Headliners include Cardi B, The Killers, Twenty-One Pilots and Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Post Malone and Billie Eilish, who just won Record of the Year at the 2021 Grammys, will headline The Governors Ball in New York's Randall's Island on September 24-26.


The Berlin International Film Festival is set to be held in-person from June 9 to 20. The Tribeca Film Festival is also scheduled to be held on the same dates. Another major film festival, the Venice International Film Festival, is slated to be held from September 1 to 11.

One of the most looked-forward-to film festivals, the Cannes Film Festival, held in the French Riviera village of the same name, has been pushed to July in 2021. It was cancelled last year due to the pandemic. In India, the much-awaited Dharamshala International Film Festival, is expected to be held online like last year. Any changes to the mode or date updates will be posted here.

The New York Comic-Con will return on October 7-10
Comic-Con International, held in San Diego, will be held in 2022, but a smaller event in its place is being planned for the month of November. New Yorkers, however, will return to Manhattan's Jacob K Javits Convention Center for the NY edition of the event. 

Pride event plans in most cities continue to hang in balance, with fresh fears expressed over the recent B.1.617 strain. However, some organisers did show confidence that in-person or hybrid events might be back. 

The Met Gala has been pushed to September 13, along with a follow up scheduled for May 2022.

Switzerland's Lucerne Festival will be held from August 10 with suitable modifications to the programme, including no intervals for greater social distancing. The Salzburg Festival for 2021 will held in July. 

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