Concert
[Photo by Yvette de Wit]

Coronavirus is now beginning to affect the United States as rapidly and uncompromisingly as other parts of the world. As of March 11, Washington state, San Francisco and nearby Santa Clara County have reduced social gatherings by a massive amount that will most likely continue after March. 

Washington state limited gatherings to include less than 250 people. The California regulations allow no more than 1,000 people. Concerts, sporting events and other live gatherings will take a massive hit with these new regulations. 

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In recent news, coronavirus has dominated every avenue of the media and popular culture.

These recent closures—and there are bound to be more—are going to decimate the entertainment industry. A big question in determining closures may be whether or not the virus is more or less transmissible based on venue location. Specifically whether or not indoor or outdoor venues were more dangerous.

Indoor venues might be more susceptible to the illness due to improper ventilation. According to an NPR report, the spread of the virus is more familial than community. So, in enclosed spaces, the virus spreads much better. Mosh pits should definitely be banned, even if indoor venues stay open due to the sweat and touching of those involved.

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COVID-19 has been responsible for massive festival cancelation including Coachella and SXSW, theatrical release dates being pushed back and the live shows of touring acts including Avril Lavigne, Green Day, Set It Off, Palaye Royale, BTS, Miley Cyrus and many more to be completely canceled.

Tacoma Dome in Washington has already postponed all of their major upcoming events.

Live Nation President Joe Berchtold recently told CNN that they are currently looking for Plan B’s for the major upcoming stadium and arena shows. The CDC controls what happens and will work with local officials who will decide regulations in the area. Live Nation will work from there, going to the artists to decide what they want to do and when. He said they want to keep these artists employed to continue making revenue and not have them (the artists) livelihoods damaged by the coronavirus.

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Most of these occurrences have taken place in Asia and Europe, however, the issue has spiked in recent days in the United States. 

News of a confirmed case of a fan at a Tool show recently broke, creating widespread panic among the music crowd in New Zealand.

The Center For Disease Control website updates every weekday at noon with the current coronavirus statistics. Thus far, there are a total of 938 confirmed cases with 29 deaths. Washington, New York and California have the highest confirmed number of cases, with the latter two totaling between 100-200 and the former with up to 500 confirmed cases. 

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Italy recently made headlines for being entirely under quarantine and claiming their hospitals are at a breaking point. Many doctors are comparing this to medical triage during wartimes, choosing who receives help and who doesn’t. 

With the rolling cancellations of festivals, concerts and sporting events that now includes E3, Cleveland’s International Film Festival and a number of west coast sporting events, the economy is on the brink. Will stadium workers be paid for the canceled events, even though they can’t work? What about smaller bands that depend on touring and merch sales?

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As of March 10, more than 40 U.S. colleges canceled in-person classes, with many more following suit. Notable cities including Boston and Chicago have canceled St. Patrick’s Day Parades. Las Vegas, NV has shit down buffets in a number of their famous resorts and casinos.

The closures in Washington and California seem to be just the beginning. As the current news headlines roll in, a number of artists have already spoken their thoughts on the situation including Palaye Royale, Poppy and Jeffree Star

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As the situation develops, we’ll know how many more areas will suspend public gatherings. But currently, this seems to be a snowball effect that will continue for quite a while.

Canceling live events in an area with the broad stroke of a hand might be necessary, but there are a lot of tiny moving parts to coordinate. With that being said, fans are beginning to ask artists what the deal is with upcoming shows.

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We’re sure the artists are looking for answers as well and will update fans accordingly. For now, stay safe and informed.

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