The World Health Organization (W.H.O.) has officially declared the coronavirus (COVID-19) as a global pandemic.
Per The New York Times, Chief of the W.H.O. Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a news conference, “Pandemic is not a word to use lightly or carelessly. We cannot say this loudly enough or clearly enough or often enough. All countries can still change the course of this pandemic.”
The W.H.O. defines a “pandemic” as “the worldwide spread of a new disease.” As of publishing, COVID-19 has been diagnosed on six continents in over 100 countries with over 120,000 people infected. More than 4,300 people have died.
Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases told the House Oversight Committee, “The bottom line: It is going to get worse. We would recommend that there not be large crowds. If that means not having any people in the audience as the N.B.A. plays, so be it.”
LIST: Concert Tours and Other Events Affected By Coronavirus Concerns
The popular festival pushed back their dates from April to October. In a statement, organizers said, "While this decision comes at a time of universal uncertainty, we take the safety and health of our guests, staff and community very seriously. We urge everyone to follow the guidelines and protocols put forth by public health officials."
The country festival pushed back their dates from March to October. In a statement, organizers said, "While this decision comes at a time of universal uncertainty, we take the safety and health of our guests, staff and community very seriously. We urge everyone to follow the guidelines and protocols put forth by public health officials."
Pearl Jam announced on March 9 that their upcoming tour in support of their new album 'Gigaton' would be postponed. In a statement, the band said, "We’ve worked hard with all our management and business associates to find other solutions or options but the levels of risk to our audience and their communities is simply too high for our comfort level. Add to that we also have a unique group of passionate fans who travel far and wide. We’ve always been humbled by this and respect their energies and devotion. However in this case, travel is something to avoid."
Zac Brown Band postponed their spring tour on March 10 and said in a statement, "Out of caution and due to increasing public health concerns, Zac Brown Band is postponing the spring 2020 leg of 'The Owl Tour.' This was an extremely difficult decision, but the well-being of our fans is always our top priority. Rescheduled dates for all spring shows (through Nashville on April 25) will be announced soon. We ask that our fans retain their tickets as they will be honored on the new dates. At this time, our 'Roar With The Lions' Summer 2020 tour dates (commencing in May) will be performed as planned. Thank you for your understanding."
'The Wendy Williams Show' issued the following statement on March 10: "Wendy values her co-hosts and their daily participation, but in the light of the current health climate, 'The Wendy Williams Show' will not have a live studio audience until further notice. We will continue to produce a daily live talk show & look forward to welcoming the studio audience back when the time is right."
The decision to film both of the long-running game shows sans audience came down on March 9. TMZ first reported the news, and the three reasons for the decision include the following: Alex Trebek has a compromised immune system due to his stage 4 pancreatic cancer treatment; The average audience member for both of these shows is in their 60s, and that age group and older have been deemed vulnerable to the coronavirus; and many of the studio audience members are people from out of town and potentially from areas with widespread coronavirus outbreak.
Green Day announced on February 28, "We have unfortunately made the difficult decision to postpone our upcoming shows in Asia due to the health + travel concerns with coronavirus. We know it sucks, as we were looking forward to seeing you all, but hold on to your tickets we’ll be announcing the new dates very soon."
The City of Austin, TX officially canceled SXSW on March 6 marking the first time in 34 years the event was canceled.
KISS manager Doc McGhee released the following statement on March 9: "Our Meet and Greets have always offered us and you, our fans, a unique opportunity to literally stand shoulder to shoulder together. After many discussions with experts in the field, we have been advised to temporarily cancel these events given the reality that we do this nightly for a hundred or more fans. Shows will continue as scheduled and we look forward to resuming our time with you backstage."
Michaels pulled out of his appearance on The '80s Cruise that runs from March 8-15. A statement from Michaels' camp said, "As of Sunday, March 8, 2020 it has been advised by the Centers for Disease Control that cruise ship travel be deferred for those with compromised immune systems. Bret Michaels, a life long type1 Diabetic, falls under the category of those that run the extreme high risk of contracting this illness. Even if this illness is not contracted by Bret, he runs the risk of being quarantined on the ship with fellow music fans that might fall ill. Once again, being a Type 1 Diabetic, this would pose a problem of having enough insulin and supplies on hand for his survival for an undetermined amount of time."
The release of the latest James Bond film has been pushed back to November due to the coronavirus. Before the release push back, a number of publicity tours, including ones in China, South Korea and Japan, were canceled once to coronavirus began to spread in that region.
Slipknot announced on March 5, "In light of global health concerns, Slipknot have decided to postpone their upcoming Asian tour, including Knotfest Japan. While decisions like this are not easy, the safety and well-being of the band's fans always comes first. Furthermore in this case, the bands and artists, crew and local employees are also equally effected, and as such, this was the only responsible decision that could be made. Slipknot and Knotfest will both return to Asia very soon. And at such time that everyone can be ensured of the best experience possible."
On March 6, Queen + Adam Lambert said in a statement, "Unfortunately, our show in Paris has had to be postponed following a government decree in France to cancel all indoor events over 5000 capacity in France until 31st May in an effort to contain the spread of Coronavirus."
Whitesnake announced on March 5 via their social media channels, "We regret to announce that Whitesnake's Japan Tour which had been scheduled for March has been unavoidably postponed due to the ongoing threat of the Coronavirus. Currently, we are working on rescheduling the dates. Your purchased tickets for the original dates will be valid for the rescheduled dates. Please ensure you keep your tickets safe. For those customers who wish to receive a refund, we will announce details of the refund process once we announce the rescheduled dates. We deeply apologize to all parties concerned especially those customers who bought tickets and have been looking forward to the Whitesnake shows.
Avril Lavigne postponed her upcoming tour of Asia on February 29 telling fans in a statement, "I am so sad to announce that we are unable to tour the Asian markets due to the continuous outbreak of the coronavirus. My band, crew and I have been working so hard to bring this tour worldwide and are completely bummed out. Please everybody take care of yourselves and stay healthy. You're in my thoughts and prayers and we are hoping to announce rescheduled shows soon."
The Italian metal band said in a statement on March 2, "We regret to inform our beloved fans of South East Asia that due to circumstances beyond our control we must cancel our upcoming shows in Dubai, Bangkok, Melbourne, Sydney, Tokyo, Osaka, Singapore and Jakarta. Our home region of Lombardia, Italy, is in the midst of a Coronavirus outbreak. While cancelling is heartbreaking for us, everyone’s health and safety must come first and this includes our fans. We're confident this emergency will soon be contained and we can get back on the road to you. Thank you for your understanding and stay safe. Ticket refunds are available for headline shows at points of purchase."