Around 15,000 attendees were set to gather in New York in June for Popsugar’s annual Play/Ground festival, but without a clear end to the coronavirus crisis in sight, the organizers have become the latest in a long line to press the postpone button.
“We are closely monitoring the COVID-19 developments and reviewing guidance and advice from public health officials including the CDC and the WHO. The safety of our fans, guests, staff, vendors, and brand partners are of the utmost importance to us,” said Popsugar founder and president Lisa Sugar. “We have decided it is in the best interest of all of our community to postpone Play/Ground and we look forward to announcing headline talent later this summer.”
Play/Ground, the women’s lifestyle publisher’s biggest event of the year, was originally set to take place on June 13 and 14 at Pier 94 and organizers plan to announce a new date and confirmed venue location soon. All pre-sale tickets will be honored for the new dates or refunded.
The festival, which began in 2018, is a female-led weekend of programming spanning fitness classes, discovery-driven shopping, panels, and entrepreneurial and life coaching seminars. Last year’s speakers included Chrissy Teigen, Issa Rae, Mandy Moore and Camila Mendes. Among the roughly 200 brand partners were Samsung Galaxy Watch Active, Calia by Carrie Underwood, Kohl’s and Extra Refreshers.
PopSugar, recently acquired by Group Nine in an all-stock deal, has been growing its events business in recent years and in a January interview with WWD, Sugar said 2020 is the year she hopes the festival would start to make a good profit.
“The first year was definitely an investment,” Sugar said. “Year two was a break-even and this year we feel like we’ll be making great money from it.”
Other media companies that have postponed flagship events include Time. Its two-day Time 100 summit is now scheduled for September, but an exact date has not yet been released.