Now that the Coronavirus (COVID-19) is rapidly re-routing events like air traffic controllers, something else has ignited. A unity between live-entertainment competitors is bringing together a task force against this epidemic. AEG, CAA, ICM, Live Nation, Paradigm, and UTA are working towards strategizing and coordinating a unified response on the spread and growing impact of the virus on tourism.
No statement from said task force has been made at this time. However, as more and more events get cancelled within weeks of its schedule, it’s beginning to infuriate a lot of people. Let’s recap: SXSW, Coachella, Ultra Music Festival, Winter Music Conference have all been postponed. North American tours by Pearl Jam, Neil Young, and other European artists have been cancelled. There is definitely a need for leadership and concentrated response.
The NBA season cancelled along with other sporting leagues. Beyond Wonderland SoCal just received word of postponement today. Timing is the issue. This wait-and-see approach is taking a toll on the industry in the worst way possible. As Live Nation continues to lose market value and schools and jobs get pushed to telecommute options, we need a solution.
So, What’s Next?
Sources say the task force held several conference calls each day last week. A statement from them could emerge as early as this afternoon. Apparently, a major music executive is telling staff to support their clients’ decisions, not to advocate for postponement/cancellation. Though, companies may be subject to the venues’ municipalities where clients perform.
Once the spring and summer events get pushed to fall, what happens to the programming? This ripple effect is going to take a lot to recover. We can hope to be optimistic, but every nook of the entertainment industry is pushing back dates to everything.
Mass shootings, terrorism, and natural disasters used to disrupt touring majorly. But, we haven’t had a disruption like this on such a huge scale since 9/11. Economics can play itself out as we see how much we can get by on optimism. Perhaps the markets are only taking a hit for the short term.
Until then, don’t panic, follow the necessary precautions for this virus, and stay safe out there.