COVID-19 forces cancellation of the 2020 Rock And Roll Rumble

Corner Soul in 2019. Photo by Victoria Wasylak for Vanyaland.

Well, here’s more shit news in an era when the shit news is plentiful: There will be no Rock And Roll Rumble in 2020.

Organizer Anngelle Wood made the announcement on social media Thursday (May 21) afternoon. This year’s Rumble, taking place at its annual home of ONCE Ballroom in Somerville (GoFundMe), was postponed from April to the summer over the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. With the uncertainty surrounding our state’s gradual re-opening plan, and with pretty much everything on “pause,” hosting the “World Series of Boston Rock” with 24 participating bands across nine nights was just not feasible, Wood writes.

So, the Rumble will look ahead to 2021.


The cancellation marks the third time in 11 years the 41-year-old Rumble would not be taking place. In 2010, the Rumble was cancelled after the closing of Boston rock radio station WBCN, only to be resurrected by Wood the following year as her radio show, Boston Emissions, found a new home on WZLX. In 2018, the Rumble was nixed after WZLX was sold to iHeartMedia. Wood independently brought it back for 2019, a Rumble won by Set Fire.

Read the full statement below.