On Thursday, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf announced that the state was implementing steps to help slow the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus by announcing the closure of all schools, gyms, community centers and entertainment venues in Montgomery County.
“No mass gatherings should be held, including conferences and rallies. By closing these facilities, we can control the spread of this disease, that’s the hope. And we can redirect our public safety and health officials to where they are needed the most,” Wolf said.
A suburb of Washington, Montgomery is the state’s most populous county and includes cities such as Bethesda, Rockland, and Silver Spring, where Live Nation operates a Fillmore Theater.
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown announced late Wednesday night that the state was banning all public gatherings of more than 250 people statewide. The ban went into effect immediately, and will last for at least four weeks, she said.
“We are now in an unprecedented public health crisis, a rapidly-evolving global pandemic. Most of us have never experienced anything like this,” said Governor Brown in a press statement. “What is clear is that we must take immediate action to stem the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, and act now to protect those who are most vulnerable. We know that these efforts to fight coronavirus will have an impact on our daily lives, our livelihoods, and Oregon’s economy. But this disease does not discriminate. We are all facing this together, and these steps can save lives.”
California has joined the ban on public gatherings as well, with Gov. Gavin Newsome announcing that all non-essential public gatherings of more than 250 people hould be postponed or canceled across the state until at least the end of March.
Non-essential gatherings must be limited to no more than 250 people, while smaller events can proceed only if the organizers can implement social distancing of 6 feet per person. Gatherings of individuals who are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 should be limited to no more than 10 people, while also following social distancing guidelines, according to the Governor’s office.
“Changing our actions for a short period of time will save the life of one or more people you know,” said Governor Newsom. “That’s the choice before us. Each of us has extraordinary power to slow the spread of this disease. Not holding that concert or community event can have cascading effects — saving dozens of lives and preserving critical health care resources that your family may need a month from now. The people in our lives who are most at-risk – seniors and those with underlying health conditions — are depending on all of us to make the right choice.”
New Mexico has imposed even more stringent limitations on public events, banning gatherings of more than 100 people. According to a statement from Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, the ban is aimed at large entertainment venues and events and excludes places such as airports where people gather for the purposes of transit.
New Mexico previously barred all large functions at state-owned buildings, including the annual Gathering of Nations PowWow, scheduled for next month in Albuquerque.
“We have seen what has happened in other states; we have seen what organizations like the NCAA and many others have decided; we want to be as safe and secure and preventive as we can be. New Mexico is not going to wait as long as some other states to make the hard decisions about this pandemic.”
Concern about the spread of the virus and the lack of a coherent, unified response from the government, is also continuing to weigh on the industry with an ever-widening list of canceled or postponed concerts and festivals.
Newly announced postponements on Thursday include the Big Ears Festival, which was scheduled to take place in Knoxville later this month.
“It has become clear that we must cancel Big Ears 2020, scheduled for the weekend of Thursday, March 26 thru Sunday, March 29,” festival organizers said in a statement. “Just 48 hours ago, we were optimistic that there was a path forward; but with events surrounding COVID-19 developing rapidly along with the obvious need for urgent steps to contain its spread, we simply cannot move forward with the festival as scheduled.”
The Treefort 2020 music festival has been postponed. The ninth annual festival will now take place on September 23-27, 2020 in Downtown Boise, Idaho.
“As you’re aware we’ve been monitoring the COVID-19 situation in the Boise area and the surrounding states and have been in constant contact with The City of Boise and Central District Health to track this rapidly changing environment. With support from The City of Boise and Central District Health, postponing the festival is the best option for the Treasure Valley, the far-reaching Treefort community and the individuals and organizations that support Treefort Music Fest,” Organizers said on Thursday.
The Frozen Dead Guy Days in Nederlander, Colorado, which was due to take place from March 13-15 has been canceled for the first time in the festival’s 19-year history.
The 37th annual Miami Film Festival, which started last week has been canceled mid-stream. The cancellation includes all special events and any remaining public screening.
Country music icon Kenny Chesney announced that the early dates of his Chillaxification Tour, including seven stadiums and four amphitheater shows have been postponed.
“You can’t take risks without really understanding the consequences,” Chesney said in a press statement announcing the postponement. “In times of uncertainty, I won’t take chances with those I love. I can’t imagine, as much as we love being out there playing for the fans, being able to do that through the worry our nation is experiencing.
“So, while we wait to see how this terrible virus is going to impact our country, I think it’s only fair to move these first several dates now. We are figuring some of this out as we go, but I know people buy airline tickets, book hotel rooms – and I wanted to try to give everyone as much time to sort that out as possible,” he added.
American country duo Dan + Shay also postponed their entire spring leg of their upcoming arena tour.
“Well, here we are. March 12, 2020, sitting in a bus parked outside Wells Fargo Arena, making a statement we never thought we’d have to make. After the mandatory postponement of our Philadelphia show, and several others in the coming weeks, we have made the collective decision (with our team and health officials) to postpone the spring leg of THE (ARENA) TOUR. These shows mean the world to us, and it was important that they be postponed and not canceled, but more than the shows, our fans mean the world to us, and protecting their safety is the number one priority. We want the shows to be memorable, and not experienced with fear,” a rep for the group said in a statement.
Canadian recording artist Michael Bublé has postponed several upcoming dates on his current tour which was scheduled to begin March 17th in Jacksonville. Rescheduled dates in the affected markets will be announced shortly.
Warner Records announced that Cher has postponed of all concerts on the “Here We Go Again Tour” effective immediately. This includes the Oklahoma City concert planned for tonight, March 12.
Country 2 Country festival organizers announced that all three editions of the festival, which were scheduled for London, Dublin, and Glasgow this weekend, have been postponed. A statement from the festival advised punters to hang on to their tickets for when the events are rescheduled.