Next Annual Prince Celebration to Mark His Birth, Not His Death
The annual Celebration event at Prince’s Paisley Park HQ will go ahead again in 2020 – but with the dates moved to mark the anniversary of his birth instead of his death.
A brief statement on the Paisley Park website invited those interested to sign up for further information at a later date, describing Celebration 2020 as the “legendary 4 day event to honor and celebrate Prince” and confirming it would take place on Jun. 4-7. Prince was born on Jun. 7, 1958; while the first three Celebrations, held in 2017, 2018 and 2019, had been centered around Apr. 21, the date of his passing in 2016.
“A new administration at Paisley Park means a new way of celebrating Prince,” the Star Tribune commented, adding that “attendance at this year’s Celebration was noticeably down from the previous two years.” The report continued: “Moving the Celebration to June probably makes sense for a few reasons: April has meant conflicts with Easter and Passover, potential bad weather (yes, sometimes it snows in April) and the awkwardness of commemorating the anniversary of Prince’s death. June promises more hospitable weather and the celebration of his birth.”
During the first half of his career, Prince would frequently celebrate his birthdays with special concerts or single releases. However in a 1998 interview he said that it's better to celebrate the day you die, because that signals ascension to Heaven. A year later, he told Dutch TV host Ivo Niehe that you only have one birthday – the actual date you were born – and that avoiding birthday celebrations "stops me from counting days, which stops me from counting time, which allows me to still look the same as I did 10 years ago."
However, according to longtime Prince blogger Dr. Funkenberry, in 2000 Prince changed course again, declaring "I don't celebrate birthdays but my fans celebrate mine so we will be having Prince: A Celebration in June."
Paisley Park had been managed by Graceland Holdings until that contract expired in September. A new team under music business executive Alan Seiffert took over at that point. Tickets for the Celebration usually cost from $500 to $1,000, offering access to a series of panel talks, exhibitions of unreleased video material and performances by artists connected with Prince. Further information will be released via the Paisley Park website.