With the measures taken to combat the global COVID-19 outbreak, going out for leisure or in large groups is pretty impossible. Since the outbreak of COVID-19 began spreading rapidly in the United States, at least 30 states have stay-at-home orders in place. States including Ohio and California have ordered nonessential businesses to close. According to Business Insider, the definition of a nonessential business may vary from location to location based on need. But there is a list of businesses largely agreed upon as being nonessential.
“Nonessential businesses are generally recreational in nature,” Irene Jiang wrote. “They don’t provide groceries, health or financial support or utilities.”
The list in the article includes businesses such as theaters, shopping malls and concert venues. As a result, a large number of employees fromthe entertainment business are out of a job, as well as pushing back numerous album releases, movie releases, concerts, festivals and more.
Artists including Queen, Harry Styles, Doja Cat, Camila Cabello, Green Day and Kesha have all postponed or canceled their concerts. Additionally, K-pop phenomenon BTS cancelled the April kickoff date of their Map of the Soul Tour in Seoul, South Korea before postponing all 15 dates of the North American leg of the tour. Fans who had tickets for the cancelled Seoul concert received full refunds and proceeded todonate the full amounts to Hope Bridge Korea Disaster Relief Association to help with COVID-19 relief.
As a result, artists like Miley Cyrus, Kesha and Charli XCX have chosen to livestream concerts from home to their legions of fans. Dubbed #couchtour, these artists are bringing entertainment to their fans while practicing social distancing and isolation.
Music festivals and conferences have also been going the way of individual tours. The Rock Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, the Songwriters Hall of Fame Induction, Vidcon 2020, the Daytime Emmys Ceremony and the Cannes Film Festival, among others, have been rescheduled or cancelled. The cancellation of South by Southwest in particular made waves for cancelling the festival without issuing refunds to ticket holders. According to Forbes, the organization has instead opted to allow ticket buyers to “differ their passes for the festival in 2021, 2022 or 2023.”
In addition to live concerts and events, movie and album releases have also been postponed. Upcoming films including “Wonder Woman 1984,” “In the Heights,” “Scoob” and “Malignant” have been indefinitely postponed.Fathom Events has cancelled or postponed several events in light of the COVID-19 outbreak including “Steven Universe: The Movie Sing-A-Long Event,” “Digimon Adventure: Last Evolution Kizuna,” “Balshoi Ballet: Romeo and Juliet” and “Braveheart 25th Anniversary.” The postponed events currently have not been rescheduled.
Lady Gaga, in addition to postponing her Las Vegas residency shows, postponed the release of her sixth studio album “Chromatica” in an announcement on Twitter. HAIM, Alicia Keys, Kehlani and Willie Nelson,among others, have also pushed back the release dates to upcoming albums. Dua Lipa, among other artists, released their announced albums as scheduled.
But Hollywood and event ticket holders aren’t the only affected by the outbreak. Indie Wire reported AMC Theatres have furloughed all 600 corporate staffers, including CEO Adam Aron, as of March 25. According to Brian Kaberline for KCUR 89.93, The loss of revenue due to the outbreak led to this decision, as well as the decision to close 1,000 theaters worldwide.
“Under the furlough plan, employees will have reduced work hours at reduced pay, or be laid off, until AMC Theatres reopen,” Kaberline reported.
The closure of these theaters, as well as other smaller venues where groups larger than 10 people can no longer meet, affects everyone from the high rollers in the entertainment industry tolocal musicians and club owners. In addition to filing unemployment, artists financially affected by cancelled and rescheduled events canseek aid from organizations including Actors Fund, Cultural Relief Fund, Foundation for Contemporary Arts and Atrium.