Since the end of 2019, the coronavirus disease has ravaged not only everyday life but largely the functionality of the entertainment industry as well. As it continues to spread, event organizers have been pushed to make the humane decision of postponing or canceling large gatherings from concerts, important conferences, and even major sports tournaments. The disease has now reached every U.S. state as well as over 150 countries, so the list of canceled events seems endless as our world continues every day on standby.
Musical artists began calling off their Asian tour dates and concerts back in early January after awareness spread of the danger associated with the swiftness of COVID-19 as it quickly overtook Asian countries. R&B artist Khalid was one of the first to postpone his Asian tour dates on Feb. 14 regarding concerns for “the safety of Khalid’s fans, his team and everyone who has been working on these concerts.” The original tour dates were between March 24 – April 14. Others like the band Green Day postponed their Asian tour dates and artist Avril Lavigne canceled hers on Feb. 29.
“Please everybody take care of yourselves and stay healthy,” Lavigne wrote. “You’re in my thoughts and prayers and we are hoping to announce rescheduled shows soon.”
Queen and Adam Lambert were scheduled to perform a show in Paris on May 26 and have also postponed after France sent out a government decree to cancel all events over 5,000 persons until May 31 in an attempt to contain the virus.
Justin Bieber and Harry Styles are other male artists who were forced to postpone their 2020 tours. Bieber’s Changes tour was scheduled to run May 14 – Sept. 26. Style’s Love on Love tour of the U.K. and Europe has been moved to 2021.
Female artists Ciara and Mariah Carey made decisions to postpone their upcoming performances until later this year as well.
“With the continued spread of the Coronavirus throughout the U.S., as a pregnant woman, my doctors have advised me to limit travel and large group gatherings,” said Ciara to the Associated Press.
Madonna, Miley Cyrus, Cher, Billie Eilish, and Celine Dion are among a variety of other female artists that were forced to cancel their performances. Madonna was forced to cancel her Madame X Tour mid advance, and Miley canceled her trip to Australia to perform at the World Tour Bushfire Relief concert, which also included an appearance from Lil Nas X.
Bands like Pearl Jam, Guns N’ Roses, Dan + Shay, the Jonas Brothers, and the Rolling Stones have made the same difficult but necessary decisions.
“We have been through a lot as a band over the past 30 years and we did not make this decision lightly,” Pearl Jam explained on a fan FAQ. “Our team worked tirelessly to see if we could keep the tour going. It became clear by Monday afternoon that we would not be able to – in good conscience – head out on the road. Even though our gear was already en route and our crew was on the ground for rehearsals, we made the difficult decision to postpone. We wanted you all to know as soon as we knew so you could make your own plans.”
Moreover, on March 4 city officials called off Ultra Music Festival’s flagship Miami festival, originally scheduled for March 20-22. The C2C: Country to Country music festival scheduled for March 13 in London, Dublin, and Glasgow has postponed to later unknown dates. J. Cole’s second annual Dreamville Festival was originally scheduled for April 4 in Raleigh, NC, but has been rescheduled for Aug. 29. Bonnaroo has been rescheduled for Sept. 24-27. A rescheduled date of Aug. 15 has been announced by the indie-pop band National Parks for the Superbloom Music Festival in Utah. The New York festival Governor’s Ball was to be headlined by Tame Impala, Flume, and Vampire Weekend, but has been canceled indefinitely. On March 31 Alabama’s Hangout Fest made the decision to cancel their three-day event in Gulf Shores, which was scheduled to feature artists such as Red Hot Chili Peppers, Lana Del Rey and Post Malone.
“This morning we received notice from the City of Gulf Shores that Hangout 2020 cannot proceed in May due to COVID-19,” Hangout Fest tweeted. “After our fastest sellout ever, and what was shaping up to be a banner year on the beach, we are gutted that this is the outcome for all of you, but agree that this is the right decision for the health and safety of everyone involved.”
As the virus continues to spread, events are unavoidably being canceled or postponed around the world at a progressive daily rate. Right now the health and protection of humanity is everyone’s greatest concern, as it should be. While a pandemic like such is concerning and traumatic, it is a humbling reminder that we are all human and we must work together to protect life on Earth. We all face the same impending dangers to humanity, no matter one’s social status or net worth.