Miley Cyrus at iHeartRadio Fest 2019
Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images
iHeartRadio Fest 2020: BTS, Miley Cyrus, Usher, Migos, Coldplay & More To Play COVID-19 Adherent Concert
This is the year of canceled and postponed festivals, leaving many livestreams concerts in its wake, yet iHeartRadio Festival 2020 is on, albeit without a live audience. BTS, Miley Cyrus, Coldplay, Khalid, Migos, Usher, Kane Brown, Keith Urban and Thomas Rhett have been tapped for the two-day, two-city fall concert hosted by Ryan Seacrest.
The 10th anniversary event will be filmed (with strict social distancing guidelines) in Los Angeles and Nashville on Sept. 18 and 19, airing live and with an edited special on the CW on Sept. 27 and 28. Since no fans can be there in person, iHeartRadio is planning several ways for them to be engage with the live show, including a Zoom audience and virtual dressing room interviews, Variety reports.
The festival typically takes place in Las Vegas, most recently at the 18,000-seat T-Mobile Arena, but will be filmed at the iHeartRadio Theater in Burbank, Calif. and a soundstage in Nashville. John Sykes, the president of entertainment enterprises for the media company, spoke to Variety about their plans:
"The iHeartRadio Theater in Los Angeles…will be completely scrubbed and cleaned with no audience. We'll put a Zoom suite of fans in there so the artists can look out and see, but they won't really be there. And we'll have a production team outside the facility remotely in a parking lot and the artists will have the venue to themselves for an entire day. They'll be able to rehearse, plug in and play live, we'll have video effects and sound."
Sykes also stressed the number of people in the theater and soundstage will be limited, with he and the rest of the crew working outside, and noted that new fan engagement ideas will be continued at future events.
"The handful of camera people will all be tested daily and the interviews with Ryan Seacrest will be done with cameras in different rooms. There will be fans who will be connected talking one-on-one in the dressing room with artists. We could never put a regular fan in an artist dressing room, but we can do it on a video screen. We have some virtual ideas too where fans will be able to perform with one of the artists onstage," he continued.
"Many of these ideas will live on: giving fans intimate experiences and conversations with artists is something we'd never be able to do in an 18,000-seat arena. But there's nothing like live music and we're just trying to do our best to connect our fans with the music rather than giving up."
According to iHeart.com, fans will also be able to watch the event live during its taping on Sept. 18 and 19 via the CW app and CWTV.com at 9 p.m. EST/6 p.m. PST, in addition to the "festival highlights special" on the 27 and 28 from 8:00–10:00 p.m. EST/PST. The music will also be broadcast on iHeartRadio's app and of their affiliate radio stations.