Last week when city officials postponed Ultra Music Festival amid coronavirus spread fears, Miami Music Week seemed like a last opportunity to enjoy dance music. Now music week events themselves are up in the air, as Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez canceled more mass gatherings and announced he is evaluating smaller-scale ones.
While Gimenez did not address music week specifically, he stated in a press release on Thursday morning that the county will “constantly evaluate planned mass gatherings as the situation evolves.”
“I will be making future policy decisions regarding indoor events planned for more than 250 people based on federal and state health officials’ guidance,” Gimenez stated. “In addition, I am recommending that smaller gatherings, if they’re not essential, also be reconsidered.”
DJs booked to play from around the world and even domestically are in limbo. Fans with flights and accommodations, determined to make the best of music week, don’t know what to do.
The mass gatherings Gimenez suspended on Thursday include the Miami Open tennis tournament, Miami-Dade County Youth Fair, MIA 5K run and major events at American Airlines Arena. The NASCAR race at Homestead Miami Speedway is postponed.
Gimenez said the county will keep monitoring the novel coronavirus outbreak that the World Health Organization declared a pandemic. The mayor tweeted that “we don’t have community spread of COVID-19 cases” but he wanted to “take the preemptive steps to keep it that way.” The announcement came the morning after he declared a state of emergency allowing him to cancel large-scale events.
The mayor did not specify when he will make decisions pertaining to indoor events with 250-plus people and smaller gatherings. Many of the music week events take place at Miami Beach hotel pool areas and Wynwood warehouses. Other parties are on boats and mini festivals are scheduled at Island Gardens on Watson Island.
On Thursday, LIV Nightclub, which booked Cedric Gervais, Alesso, Kaskade and The Chainsmokers for music week, announced it would pause its operations “out of an abundance of caution.” STORY Nightclub, which booked Deadmau5, Steve Aoki and Fisher, will also pause.
Events are now all in question, with DJs or event producers making individual announcements and updates.
Music Week Outlook
Looking at other cities, the outlook for music week appears bleak.
California Governor Gavin Newsom on Wednesday called for the cancellation of gatherings with 250 or more people through March. That was hours after the federal government imposed a Europe travel ban and the NBA suspended its season. Also on Wednesday, Washington Governor Jay Inslee banned gatherings with 250 people or more people in several counties.
Since Ultra’s cancelation for this year, individual DJs and events have been announcing they will not make music week. On Tuesday, Italian DJ Benny Benassi shared that his country is under lockdown and he is unable to travel for any of his North America shows.
Many fans unable to get refunds for flights and hotels may still travel to Miami and hope for the best. But there is no party without the DJ.