Heartland Stampede president Wayne Rouse confirmed Thursday morning that the 2020 Stampede, scheduled for June 25-27 at Heartland Motorsports Park, has been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Stampede officials announced the cancellation in a statement to fans of the highly successful country music festival that moved to Topeka from Manhattan in 2019.

"We have watched as the COVID crisis has spread throughout the world, impacting people of all walks of life,’’ the statement stated. "Initially we had hoped that we could weather this storm and that Stampede fans would be ready to celebrate the end of social distancing at our festival.

"This was perhaps wishful thinking, as very few would have predicted how rapidly our world would unravel.’’

The statement from Rouse and Stampede officials apologized for the cancellation of the 2020 festival and said that every attempt was made to reschedule the event.

"From the bottom of our hearts, we are sorry for keeping your hopes up that we could make it happen,’’ the statement said. "Every effort was made for a possible reschedule date, but dates and artists were not available.

"This is not the course of action we want to take, however with the new government COVID-19 recovery measures indicating mass gatherings will not be permitted, and in times of unprecedented uncertainty, this is now our only viable option.’’

Next year’s Heartland Stampede has been scheduled for June 24-26, 2021.

The statement stated that all customers who purchased festival tickets through the Heartland Stampede will receive an email with details about transferring their tickets to the 2021 event or requesting a refund.

"We thank you for your understanding, and we look forward to producing a fantastic festival for you in 2021,’’ the Stampede statement read. "Please stay healthy, stay mentally connected and although physically apart, please remember we are all in this fight together!’’