Music Week is monitoring the impact of the Covid-19 spread around the globe on the biz.
The virus' spread has already led to a series of tour cancellations, including the likes of Ozzy Osbourne Stormzy, Khalid, New Order, BTS, Green Day, Slipknot and Avril Lavigne all pulling dates around the globe, meanwhile organisers of the 2020 SXSW conference followed guidance from the City Of Austin and cancelled this year's event.
Updates from the impact of the outbreak will appear here
Music Week Awards re-scheduled
The 2020 Music Week Awards are moving to a new date and will now take place Monday, September 21 following guidelines set out by the government concerning the coronavirus pandemic. Our guests, partners and staff well-being is paramount and so we have taken the difficult decision to push back the awards for everyone's safety. The location of the awards at Battersea Evolution will not change and we are looking forward to celebrating the best of the music biz later this year. We want to thank the industry for its understanding at this time, and any tables/tickets booked will transfer to the new date. Check out this year's shortlist here and for more information regarding the awards, click here.
Capital's Summertime Ball cancelled
Global has announced that following the government’s guidelines encouraging against mass gatherings, Capital’s Summertime Ball 2020 has been cancelled. While tickets for the event had not yet been on sale, the event was due to take place on Saturday, June 6 at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. “Capital is extremely sorry for any disappointment caused by the cancellation of our flagship live event,” explained a spokesperson for Capital. “However, given the coronavirus outbreak and the constantly evolving situation, we have placed the wellbeing of Capital listeners at the forefront of our decision making, before tickets have gone on sale.” The ball is set to return for 2021.
Roachford’s Spring UK tour postponed
British singer-songwriter Andrew Roachford has announced today that his Spring UK tour – which was set to kick off Thursday, March 26 – will be postponed until later this year. BMG have also announced that the release of his new album Twice In A Lifetime will move dates from April 3 to September 11 2020. Speaking on the news, Roachford said “I was so looking forward to playing these shows, however circumstances beyond anyone’s control has made this impossible, but the most important thing right now is that we look after each other in these difficult times. Ride the storm because this show will go on.” Any tickets purchased should be kept for the announcement of the re-scheduled dates.
Barry Manilow UK May tour
The upcoming tour of Barry Manilow with special guest Curtis Stigers set to take place this May has been re-scheduled to August following the coronavirus outbreak. All tickets purchased will still be valid for the new dates, starting from August 26 in Birmingham and ending September 4 in Glasgow.
Ash push back UK tour
Releasing a statement via Twitter, Ash has announced that their UK tour has been postponed in light of the coronavirus pandemic. The band tweeted “Our agent and and promoters are now working hard to secure new dates later this year. Please hold on to your tickets, stay safe and be good to each other.”
Grace Carter's UK tour postponed
Grace carter has announced on her social media that the remaining dates of her UK tour will be re-scheduled due to the pandemic. Speaking on Twitter, Carter said “I couldn’t wait to see you all every night and I’m so sorry it won’t be happening as soon as we’d all hoped.” Information on refunds and ticket changes are to follow.
The BBC tackle culture in quarantine
With the closure of many public buildings and events cancelled, the BBC has been looking at how it can help artists during this time. The BBC has announced today a plan to help provide arts and culture across its platforms to bring it straight into our homes.
Focusing across its radio stations, TV channels and digital platforms – and in collaboration with Arts Council and other funding organisations – the BBC will harness the culture available to it and produce content to inform the public. This will include, performances from musicians and comedians, new plays created for broadcast, quarantine diaries from creative visionaries, and unearthed performances from its archive.
BBC Radio 3 will look to focus on orchestras, and will rebroadcast ensembles that have had to cancel concerts. BBC Radio 4’s Front Row and BBC Two’s Front Row Late will report on the latest developments, and the Arts Digital service will share content from the BBC, and also its partners and the wider sector. To aid in supporting mental health with arts and culture, the campaign Get Creative will aim to provide arts and craft activities to do at home whether this be alone or with family.
The BBC hope to open its platforms up to as many people as possible to help the arts community during this challenging time.
The Ivors push back ceremony date
The Ivors has announced it will be pushing back the date of its prestigious award ceremony from its traditional May date to Wednesday, September 2. The awards, which are set to take place with Apple Music, will still take place at the JW Marriot Grosvenor House location and will announce the nominations later this year.
No Eurovision for 2020
The Eurovision song contest has been cancelled. "Over the past few weeks we have explored many alternative options to allow the Eurovision Song Contest to go ahead. However the uncertainty created by the spread of COVID-19 throughout Europe – and the restrictions put in place by the governments of the participating broadcasters and the Dutch authorities - means the EBU has taken the difficult decision that it is impossible to continue with the live event as planned," organisers explained. Discussing are already underway for the 2021 contest to take place on Rotterdam where the competition was due to be staged in May.
The 2020 Glastonbury Festival has been cancelled. Organisers Emily (pictured) and Michael Eavis posted a statement this morning (March 18) explaining that despite announcing the line-up for what would have been the 50 anniversary event last week, the festival will now not go ahead. Read the story in full now.
The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones have announced the postponement of the their upcoming No Filter tour of North America due to the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic. The 15 date summer tour was due to kick off in San Diego on May 8 and end in Atlanta on July 9. An official statement read: “We’re hugely disappointed to have to postpone the tour. We are sorry to all the fans who were looking forward to it as much as we were, but the health and safety of everyone has to take priority. We will all get through this together — and we’ll see you very soon” - Mick, Keith, Charlie and Ronnie. AEG Presents/Concerts West advise ticket holders to hold onto their original tickets and await further information.
The MMF have launched a new questionnaire aimed at artists, musicians, music producers, songwriters, engineers and DJs, as well as their managers, to ask them to quantify their losses to date. The project hopes to build an evidence base on the impact of coronavirus so far. In a joint statement, MMF CEO Annabella Coldrick and chair Paul Craig said: “On Monday evening, the Prime Minister recommended people should avoid mass gatherings and no longer visit venues or pubs and clubs. This evening, we heard details of countermeasures to alleviate the impact of this strategy, in the shape of a £330bn guaranteed loan package for businesses - with a promise from the Chancellor that he will do "whatever it takes" to save jobs and livelihoods, and will go further if required."
The statement continued: "On initial glance this looks a welcome step for more traditional music businesses which will help maintain employment and capacity for the future. However we maintain significant concerns that the benefits will not reach the music makers, their representatives and their teams, who are predominantly small-scale, self-employed or freelance. To help policy-makers better understand the impacts of coronavirus, the MMF has launched a new questionnaire that aims to quantify the profound and potentially long lasting losses that will result from this crisis for those who make the music we all live from. It is vital we can gather this evidence as quickly as possible, and we urge all artists, musicians, music producers, songwriters, engineers, DJs, as well as their managers, to get involved.” You can fill in the questionnaire here.
Recording Academy and MusiCares
The Recording Academy and MusiCares have confirmed they have launched a coronavirus relief fund to assist those in the music industry affected by the virus. Both the Recording Academy and MusiCares have contributed an initial donation of $1 million each, totaling $2 million. “In recent weeks, COVID-19 has devastated our music community, leaving thousands of music creators and professionals without work and an uncertain future," they explained. "But we have the power to help. The Recording Academy and its affiliated charitable foundation MusiCares have established the COVID-19 Relief Fund to help our peers in the music community affected by the Coronavirus pandemic. You can donate here. Artists affected can apply for relief here.
Creative Industries Federation
Caroline Norbury, CEO of the Creative Industries Federation and Creative England, has issued a statement in response the announcements made by the Chancellor about COVID-19. In it, Norbury warns that the measures fall short of supporting self-employed workers. “We welcome positive measures announced today, in response to the issues raised by the creative sector. These include a £330bn loan fund, grants of up to £25,000 for the smallest leisure, hospitality and retail businesses, and the extension of 100% business rate relief to all businesses in these sectors, which includes many creative organisations and cultural spaces. It is now vital that government ensures these business support measures are available as a matter of urgency, and that they are made truly accessible to creative and cultural organisations,” Norbury said.
She added: “However, a third of the UK’s creative workforce is self-employed and they will be hit hard. The measures announced on mortgage payments and alleviating hardship are welcome but fall short of guaranteeing these workers’ income - a government measure that is now desperately needed. A Creative Industries Federation survey today received over 2,000 responses in a matter of hours from creative industries and creators being affected by COVID-19. 54% of the respondents expect income to decrease by over 50% due to the fallout from the pandemic, with many already experiencing immediate losses. Our creative industries are one of the UK’s leading success stories. They are vital, not only for our economy, but for our way of life, bringing communities together and joy to millions around the globe. It is vital that our creative businesses are able to survive."
Patreon will be holding a free live stream today (March 18) to raise money for artists affected by cancelled gigs and lost wages during the global pandemic. The three hour stream will be repurposing the programming it had planned for SXSW this year. It will be hosted by Jack Conte and include conversations with creators and experts, plus performances. “It’s free to watch and participate from anywhere in the world, and if you want to join us in giving back to the artists & communities most impacted, we’ll be raising money for the Artist's Funds to support creators facing financial losses because of COVID-19,” they explained in a statement. The stream will start at 4pm Pacific Time and will run until 7pm PT. It can be viewed here.
Dermot Kennedy postpones UK headline tour
Dermot Kennedy has announced the rescheduling of his upcoming UK tour dates in April. The sold out dates at London’s Alexandra Palace, Victoria Warehouse in Manchester and the Glasgow Academy will now run from August 31 through to September 7, with all original tickets staying valid. All shows come with support from Lola Young and Zola Courtney.
Nick Mason’s Tour postponed
Nick Mason’s Saucerful Of Secrets UK Tour has been postponed until October. The tour was due to start in Guildford on April 23. The dates for these shows have been rescheduled for October. All tickets remain valid. An official press release stated they are "currently working on re-scheduled dates for the shows in London, Southampton and Dublin. Customers are advised to retain their tickets and ticket confirmations at this time. More information will be announced in the near future on these rescheduled shows." The European leg of the tour, which was due to begin on May 18 in Brussels, has also been postponed due to most of the governments in Europe forcing a complete lockdown of public assemblies and making it impossible to continue. Any further decision on this part of the tour will be taken as the situation becomes more settled and clearer.
Artists Rights Alliance
The Artist Rights Alliance has sent an open letter to Congressional majority and minority leaders to detail how musicians are being impacted by the coronavirus pandemic and requisite social distancing efforts. In the letter, the ARA urges Congress to ensure that any relief package takes into account the situation artists and many other workers across the creative industries and the broader economy find themselves in – unable to work from home and without a paycheck for the foreseeable future. The ARA stated that it supports “bold, sweeping relief that addresses the many different employment situations Americans find themselves in during this unprecedented crisis.”
Red Rooster 2020 has been postponed and will now take place September 4-6 at Euston Hall. Headliners Richard Hawley and Asleep At The Wheel have confirmed they are available for the new dates. All tickets will of be valid for the change of dates and anyone that is unable to make the new dates is advised to contact: email@example.com
Proper Music Distribution
Proper Music Distribution MD Drew Hill has given an update on how the company is responding to Covid-19. You can read it here: "I would like to update you on the steps Proper Music Group are taking in response to the latest advice on COVID-19. Our Dartford warehouse remains open for business as usual, with all precautions being taken over the health of our staff. While at present stock is moving smoothly, some disruption may be inevitable down the line as the situation continues to develop. From today, the team at our Surrey Quays office (sales, marketing, label management and international business) will work as normal from home, for an initial two week period. Meetings planned with our team in person can proceed by video conferencing – we will be in touch on how to connect in such instances. As a reminder Record Store Day has been postponed until Saturday June 20, a sensible move in view of the safety of the music buying community. That aside, it’s very much business as usual, and while events are upon us that we could never have predicted, the Proper can-do spirit will continue to prevail!"
Southbank locks down
The Southbank Centre has closed the Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Hayward Gallery and Purcell Room. "The health and wellbeing of our staff, artists and visitors is our top priority and given the latest medical and scientific recommendations that people should avoid large social gatherings, we have made the very difficult decision to take this action in order to play our part in stopping the spread of the virus," they explained. "The impact of this decision on those talented people who come from around the world to perform on our stages, as well as our hard-working staff who help to run our magnificent venues - and the many millions of people who come to enjoy what we present each year - is immense. As a charity, we will be working hard to find ways to survive the financial implications that a period of closure will have on our organisation - including the freelance artists and partners we work with. We want to do everything we can to support the wider arts sector as we all deal with this unprecedented situation."
All FUGA employees worldwide will now be working from home until March 31. An official statement by CEO Pieter van Rijn said: "I wanted to let you know that due to the COVID-19 pandemic all FUGA employees worldwide are working from home until March 31st - we will review this date on an ongoing basis and update you should anything change. FUGA is a remote capable organization, with a highly international workforce operating from different localities. Therefore we are in a position to operate as normally as possible during this time. Our technical products and all distribution services will continue to operate as usual. Any meetings that are already planned with our team in person will instead be held via video call and can proceed as per usual - our team will be in touch on how to connect in such instances. Please don't hesitate to reach out with any questions you may have, and wishing you all the best."
Still the ticket
Music fans with tickets for postponed events are been urged to wait for the time being before contacting their ticket sellers. "The Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers asks ticket buyers to be patient and kind, not to flood contact centres with calls and emails and to wait for ticket sellers to contact them regarding exchanges and refunds," said said in a statement. "Customers are being asked to check venue websites for details on whether their event has been postponed or cancelled. Those with tickets for a cancelled event can expect to be contacted by the company they bought their tickets from regarding exchanges and refunds. Wherever possible, customers are asked to avoid calling venues and ticket sellers and wait to be contacted. Flooding businesses with phone and email enquiries at a time when pressure is at its highest can be counterproductive."
Youth party wait
National arts charity Music for Youth is postponing of its 50th birthday event, The Future Is Now, which was due to take place at the Barbican on March 23.
Festival trip site Festicket has launched a “FlexTicket” for fans uncertain about booking. New bookings made up until April 30 on partnered events will be valid for the flexible cancellation policy which allows fans to cancel ticket and package orders under any circumstances. “This is a difficult time for people, communities and businesses all over the world” said Festicket's Zack Sabban. “As uncertainty continues to grow, we wanted to find a way to ease these feelings amongst our fans and the wider festival going community. We hope the FlexTicket policy will give festival-goers the confidence and peace of mind to continue about their lives, planning the types of experiences they look forward to this summer.”
Hugs for the 'Hug
Glasgow venue The Hug and Pint is closing today (March 17) for the foreseeable future, bu has launched a hardship fun for is staff which the public can contribute to. "As always, the safety and health of staff, customers, artists and all others is of the utmost importance. However, this incredibly difficult decision has not been made lightly, and our focus now needs to be on protecting the future of the venue and doing our best to ensure staff welfare," they explained in a statement. “With this in mind, we will set up a Hardship Fund for staff to support them while the venue is closed. All funds raised on this page will be used to support staff financially while trying to safeguard and protect the future of the venue."
Royal Albert Hall closes
The iconic London venue has announced it will close its doors for the time being. "We’ve been here for the nation for almost 150 years in good times and bad. We exist to be open, to entertain, to inspire. Our doors are made to be open to the world and so it goes against everything in our nature to close them," the Hall's management said in a statement. "But these aren’t normal times and we find ourselves in the unique situation where closing our doors is the best way to look after the world." They added however this clourse until further notice would be detrimental to the venue. "The consequences of these national actions are going to be hugely damaging. The Royal Albert Hall does not receive regular government support and is dependent on income related to events, which will not be happening," the statement explained. "The lost income from closing the venue will be financially devastating. We invest millions of pounds every year just to look after our building, but our main costs are our staff, whose livelihoods are at stake. We have committed to pay our people through various closure scenarios, and any support you are able to give us would be enormously appreciated."
UK citizens advised not to travel abroad
UK citizens have been advised by the foreign secretary not to travel abroad unless it is essential. Speaking in parliament (March 17) Dominic Rabb said his departments is advising "with immediate effect against non-essential travel globally for an initial period of 30 days and subject to ongoing review."
Enter Shikari have cancelled their proposed album launch shows in the UK, New York and Moscow, and postponed other dates. An official statement read: "Unfortunately, despite attempts to look at this from every angle possible for alternatives, and after consulting with promoters, management and even a selection of fans, the current situation forces us into making the difficult decision to cancel the proposed Nothing Is True & Everything Is Possible album launch shows for the UK, New York and Moscow. While the shows are impossible to play in April / May for the obvious logistical - and, more importantly, health-related - reasons, the overall uncertainty makes rescheduling those shows for any other time virtually impossible too. We’re very sorry. We were looking forward to playing shows again, and were excited to be able to play some of the new album tracks for you. Hopefully sometime soon we can find a way to be able to take another approach to this."
The UK secretary of state for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Oliver Dowden has announced he is self-isolating in line with his government's advice as a member of his family has the Coronavirus symptoms.
A member of my family currently has #covid?19uk symptoms so in line with government advice I will be remaining at home.— Oliver Dowden (@OliverDowden) March 17, 2020
I’m feeling fine and will of course be working on @DCMS priorities in these very challenging times, and continuing to support my constituents in Hertsmere https://t.co/H9oeGduop0
MVT relief fund plans
The Music Venue Trust has called on the government to cancel its 2022 Festival Of Britain and use its £120m to create a cultural infrastructure relief fund. Read the full story.
Closure clarity called for
A number of industry bodies have asked the government to formally enforce a lockdown on venues and events. Read the full story.
ISM calls for Statutory Sick Pay rethink
The Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM) has appealed to Chancellor Rishi Sunak for the Government to rethink its position on Universal Credit so that gig economy workers are entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP).
“It is paramount that the Government urgently rethinks this position and extends SSP to all types of workers affected by Covid-19 or who are advised to self-isolate,” said ISM chief executive Deborah Annetts in an open letter. “This is a critical time for the country and stability is needed for everyone, including musicians,” she continued. “Musicians should not be penalised for the financial losses they are experiencing.”
Virtual gig guide
Website GigsGuide is switching from live listings to rounding-up shows that will be streamed live during the Coronavirus lockdown. A section of virtual shows has been added to the site and can be seen here.
The Sage Gateshead is the latest venue to close its doors following government "advice" for people to avoid going out. "In light of the most recent Government advice, Sage Gateshead will be closed to the public from today until further notice," they explained in a statement. "This means that upcoming concerts and classes (including concerts and education programmes delivered outside of the venue) will not take place until further notice. We hope that many will be rescheduled for future dates."
Vanessa Carlton reschedules tour but not album
Singer Vanessa Carlton has announced she will postpone dates of her impending tour. "I will not put any of you in a position where you may become sick, so we must postpone our tour," she said. "But, we are going to do all we can to reschedule these dates, and when we do we'll bring you an epic show! Meanwhile wash your hands 9000 times a day." However Carlton said her new album Live Is An Art will still be released on March 27, arguing "After all, music is the best medicine there is."
Coldplay and John Legend streams
Chris Martin and John Legend have been live streaming performances via social media.
My friend Chris Martin did a lovely little concert from home today. I'll be doing one tomorrow at 1pm Pacific time. See you soon. We'll try to get through this together! #TogetherAtHome https://t.co/YZ8Y1W8esc— John Legend (@johnlegend) March 16, 2020
Kingston's independent record store Banquet has announced that, due to the coronavirus, its staff will now be working in the shop with the front doors closed, and will be focusing on mail-order services only until further notice. "With the recent Social Distancing measures advised by government, we can no longer in good faith have our physical shop open," they explained in a statement. "While music is essential, and new music is brilliant, it can’t be argued that travelling to the store is essential travel. Our doors will be closed, until the time we feel it’s right to re-open. Some of our staff are working from home, others’ hours and roles will change. We have hundreds of thousands of pounds of stock, with deliveries arriving daily, and we expect minimal disruption to supply chains. We will not lay off any staff over the coming months and expect records and CDs to get out to you in good time, with no sign of a change to the Royal Mail service. We will now be working with the front doors closed, with mail-order our sole focus. For the next few weeks at least, over-the-counter sales will cease and timings of when events restart are unclear."
Aberdeen venues to shut
Following the UK government encouraging "social distancing" in a briefing on March 16, Aberdeen Performing Arts has announced its venues – His Majesty’s Theatre, the Music Hall and the Lemon Tree – will close with immediate effect.
Fierce Panda on "ripples and ramifications"
Reacting to the postponement of SXSW due to the Covid-19 outbreak, Fierce Panda have spoken to Music Week on the impact it has had on their label and acts. Read the story in full.
Biffy Clyro have delayed ticket sales for their forthcoming UK, European and Australian tours until a later date due to the Coronavirus outbreak. An official statement said: "If you have already pre-ordered, you will still be in the presale. We are still very much looking forward to the tour and while the dates and venues remain unaffected, we feel that due to the current uncertainty the time is not right to make tickets available. We send everyone our love. Please take care of each other. Stay safe and healthy."
The British Music Embassy
The British Music Embassy has joined forces with the Association of Independent Music (AIM), the BPI, PPL, PRS For Music and PRS Foundation to put on two closed-door studio sessions in support of the UK bands and artists that were due to perform at SXSW. The events will take place at Production Park’s The Mill Studio in London on Monday March 16 and Tuesday 17.
Kobalt to work to home
The firm has announced that all its staff worldwide to work from home as part of a series of measures to restrict Covid-19 spread. "As of last week, we have made the decision to ask all of our Kobalt employees worldwide to work from home until further notice. We have also suspended all business travel, closed our offices and postponed any upcoming writer's rooms. Lastly, we are restricting our employees from any face-to-face meetings and going to shows/concerts. We will be monitoring the situation on an ongoing basis but anticipate that this will likely be for several weeks," they explained in a message sent out to clients and partners.
Foo Fighters have confirmed they will be postponing their upcoming 25th anniversary van tour, which was originally scheduled to take place in April. A statement from Dave Grohl read: “Hi, this is Dave. Remember me? The guy who wouldn’t even postpone a show when my goddamn leg was falling off?,” wrote frontman Dave Grohl. “Well…playing a gig with a sock full of broken bones is one thing, but playing a show when YOUR health and safety is in jeopardy is another. We fuckin’ love you guys. So let’s do this right and rain check shit. The album is done, and it’s fuckin’ killer. The lights and stage are in the trucks, ready to go. The SECOND we are given the go ahead, we’ll come tear shit up like we always do. Promise. Now go wash your hands. Dave.” The Phoenix show now takes place on December 5, Albuquerque on December 13 and Oklahoma City on December 1. Dates in Wichita and Knoxville are yet to be rescheduled.
Conductor to stream free concerts
Hungarian conductor Ivan Fischer has announced he will stage a new concert series that can be streamed for free online. The nightly performances, from March 16, will feature a chamber performance from the Budapest Festival Orchestra. Christened the Quarantine Soirees, they can be watched via Facebook.
Australian SXSW live stream showcase cancelled
Plans by Sounds Australia to showcase bands due to play SXSW in live streamed gigs (see below) have now been cancelled. "The mood has greatly shifted as the impact of COVID-19 starts to worsen in many parts of the world. The decision to cancel 3 For The Stream was not taken lightly. Now is not the time for an event that will bring people into close proximity," organisers explained.
Sentric Music face up to Coronavirus
The publisher has announced it is suspending face-to-face meetings and reducing its office capacity as staff work from home. They however promise "business as usual" and will "ensure all royalties are paid to our writers as quickly and efficiently as possible."
COVID-19 UPDATE pic.twitter.com/EHEN1hSt44— Sentric Music (@SentricMusic) March 16, 2020
New York shutdown
All music venues in New York are due to close as part of a city-wide shutdown. Mayor Bill de Blasio has issued a statement indicating that concerts halls, along with restaurants, bars and other entertainment venues will close from March 17. “Our lives are all changing in ways that were unimaginable just a week ago,” he said of the executive order he is issuing. “We are taking a series of actions that we never would have taken otherwise in an effort to save the lives of loved ones and our neighbours. Now it is time to take yet another drastic step.” How long the closure will last is yet to be decided.
Rolling Stone stopped
Ronnie Wood's plans to join pianist Ben Waters at three gigs to celebrate Chuck Berry have been put on ice. The Rolling Stones guitarist was due to play two nights at London's Under The Bridge (March 16 and 17) and one at Dublin's Helix (20). The dates, including Wood's involvement, will now be rescheduled. “We have decided that it's just not safe and it's not fair to gamble with people’s lives; I also just heard that the government is going to ban large gatherings next week in any case," explained Waters. "We are going to postpone the events and hope you will stick with us – several of you have asked if Ronnie will still do the rescheduled show – yes that’s the whole point, we couldn’t do it without him, the rescheduled events will definitely include him! The dates will be announced asap when things have calmed down a bit.”
Sir Lucian Grainge
Variety reports that Universal Music Group chairman/CEO Sir Lucian Grainge is in hospital in Los Angeles receiving treatment after testing positive for coronavirus. Universal Music did not comment on the report.
Charli XCX has begun a quarantine diary that she is sharing via her Twitter account. In her first entry, the singer-songwriter has contemplated the future of the live industry after the Covid-19 outbreak, wondering how live streaming will develop from the lack of concerts, whether or not new releases will benefit or suffer from enforced seclusion and how will music videos be affected if crews and directors cannot travel.
quarantine diary entry 1 ???????? lol pic.twitter.com/vEhYbHOmWO— Charli (@charli_xcx) March 15, 2020
Stockport's second favourite sons (after Fred Perry) are delaying their March UK tour until "further notice", they explained via social media.
Morning. Just to let everyone know, our March UK tour is now postponed. We’re currently working on rearranging all headline shows – London, Hull, Glasgow, Leeds, Newcastle, Birmingham & Manchester. We'll let you know as soon as we have any more info. ?? pic.twitter.com/g1RudDEstF— B L O S S O M S (@BlossomsBand) March 16, 2020
Promoter FKP Scorpio UK is postponing its Planet Earth II Live In Concert arena tour. The UK & Ireland shows – due to take place March 26-April 4 – will now take place at a later, unspecified date. "We have been monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak very closely and having taken into account local authorities' concerns and guidance, the Planet Earth II Live In Concert UK & Ireland Arena Tour originally planned for the 26th March – 4th April regrettably will be postponed until further notice," they explained.
A right carry on?
Large concerts by Guns N'Roses and Stereophonics which took place over the weekend despite the Coronavirus outbreak have been criticised. The Gunners played Mexico City's Vive Latino festival on Saturday (March 14) after the city's mayor Claudia Sheinbaum declared the only large gatherings that would be currently suspended were those that "have no economic impact." Meanwhile in Cardiff, Kelly Jones' band played the Motorpoint Arena over the weekend, although a video from the show later posted by the group drew heavy criticism.
Live streaming plans
With touring almost at a standstill, artists are starting to plan livestreams of concerts in place of gigs. Yungblud will stream a concert from Los Angeles live on his YouTube channel at 2pm UK time. He said: “The world is in a very weird time at the moment. Everyone doesn’t know what to do or where to turn. It’s like we are all trapped in a glass or perspex box whilst someone is playing a trick on us. My shows were getting cancelled left right and centre. I miss the energy, I miss the connection, I miss my fans and family. We need each other more than ever right now and having the opportunity to interact with them taken away from me fully wasn’t even an option for me! We’re holding an online concert monday 7am PT – earliest show of my life, see you there!!!” Others taking alternative measures include rockers Code Orange.
Nothing in the water for Pharrell... for now
The second edition of Pharrell Williams’ Something In The Water festival has been postponed. The music section of the event will now take place between April 23-25. "After much consideration, in partnership with the City of Virginia Beach, we’ve sadly decided to postpone," explained organisers. "Please use this time to keep building, creating, and progressing. The SITW team certainly will. There are a number of timely community-centric displays of goodwill that we are working hard to ensure still happen this April - things like the planting of a new school garden, public art, SITW Restaurant Week and more."
Elvis has left the building
Though managing to complete his London gig at the Eventim Apollo ("Or Hammersmith Odeon as I still call it...") on Friday night (March 13), Elvis Costello has cut short his UK tour three dates before the end – something he hinted would happen while on stage in London. "It is with great regret that we are announcing the postponement of the three remaining shows of the #justtrustuk2020 Tour," his twitter explained. "We are disappointed not to be bringing our show to you but trust you will agree that this is for the best."
IFPI Global Music Report launch scrapped
The media launch of the IFPI's Global Music Report, due to happen on March 24, has been axed, due to the international label executives due to speak at the event being unable to travel. The actual report, however, will still be published on that date.
UK Music calls for government framework to support biz
UK Music's acting CEO Tom Kiehl has asked the UK government to put a framework to support the UK music industry in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak. In a seven point letter to culture secretary Oliver Dowden, he called for VAT ‘holidays’ for music businesses; extending business rates relief; helping the 72% of the music industry who are self-employed; compensation schemes in the event of cancellations and help holding insurance companies to account. “The impact of the virus could deal a hammer blow to the British music industry and threaten the livelihoods of many people. It will hit not just those who are directly employed in our industry, but the wider supply chain such as caterers and other retailers who depend on our sector for work," he wrote. “While we warmly welcome measures outlined by the Chancellor in the Budget it is imperative that the Government takes urgent steps to safeguard a music industry which is the envy of the world. It is also crucial that the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and all Government departments are in constant communication with our sector as we approach a critical business period for many of our members.”
Glastonbury: the show goes on... "fingers crossed"
The Glastonbury Festival has announced its first wave of artists for the 2020 line-up – including the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Noel Gallagher, JARV IS..., Dua Lipa, Pet Shop Boys and Fatboy Slim – as organiser Emily Eavis says she has her "fingers crossed" the event will still go ahead in June. "So, after much consideration given the current circumstances, and with the best of intentions, here is the first list of musical acts for Glastonbury 2020," she wrote on Instagram. " ??As things stand we are still working hard to deliver our 50th anniversary Festival in June and we are very proud of the bill that we have put together over the last year or so. No one has a crystal ball to see exactly where we will all be 15 weeks from now, but we are keeping our fingers firmly crossed that it will be here at Worthy Farm for the greatest show on Earth!?"
Download Australia called off
After headliners My Chemical Romance cancelled their Australia and New Zealand performances, Download Australia which was due to host them as a headliner has been cancelled. "Given that this [MCR] announcement has come barely eight days prior to Download Australia we will not be able to secure an alternative headliner as there is insufficient time to secure visas and arrange the other relevant logistics that are required prior to the festival," organisers explained. "As we are unable to deliver a complete line-up to meet the standard that Download fans both expect and deserve, we have very reluctantly made the decision to cancel Download Australia 2020. The Download team has been working around the clock to create an unforgettable experience for heavy music fans and we are devastated not be able to deliver this show to Australian Downloaders as planned." Organisers say they are working with My Chemical Romance and Deftones to arrange alternative dates, while they are speaking with others acts due to play to stage alternative shows in Sydney and Melbourne in the coming week.
Scotland bans 500 plus gatherings
Events of more than 500 people in Scotland should be cancelled from Monday (March 16) first minister Nicola Sturgeon has advised. The Scottish Government is imposing the restrictions in response to the Covid-19 outbreak, though not to prevent spread of the virus but to reduce pressure on emergency services. "We know that certain events have an impact on our policing and frontline health services," Sturgeon explained.
Radio 1's Big Weekend cancelled
Falling under the above restrictions, BBC Radio 1's Big Weekend – which was to feature the likes of Biffy Clyro, AJ Tracey, Dua Lipa, and Harry Styles – in Dundee has been called off.
Record Store Day delayed
The 2020 edtion of Record Store Day has been put back to June 20 by organisers. Read the story in full.
Evanescence postpone shows
The band have announced the postponement of several gigs, including Download in Japan and their entire European tour. They posted the following statement.
Visonary Honours ceremony put back to May
The Visionary Honours 2020 awards ceremony, due to take place on Wednesday (March 18) has been postponed until May 31. "The safety and concerns of the ceremony attendees is our main priority, so in light of the current situation, we feel that postponing the awards is necessary," said the organisers of the event which is due to honour Sir Bob Geldof this year.
Dan Croll pushes back tour
Communion Records signed singer songwriter Dan Croll has postponed his current tour until September. "Devastated to have to do this, but due to the many venue restrictions and based on the advice of my team and local promoters, I’m postponing my upcoming tour," he explained. "First and foremost, we value everyone’s safety, and riding out these next few months feels like the safest option."
More office closures
It is understood that the London offices of Universal and Warners will close temporarily while staff will work from home to help delay the spread of Coronavirus.
Jimmy Eat World among postponed Australian shows
Frontier Touring and Chugg Entertainment have postponed a number of Australian concerts due to new Australian government rules restricting gathers of 500 or people to limit Covid-19 spread. The show affected included Jimmy Eat World's Australian tour this month, plus Kip Moore and the Introducing Nashville tour.
Major tours halted
Key promoters have formed a taskforce respond to the Covid-19 pandemic as they have announced the postponement of large scale live events for the rest of March. Read the full story now.
Sounds Australia to stream SXSW alternative
Following the postponement of this month's South By SouthWest conference in Austin, Texas, Sounds Australia is to stake a show that will be streamed to the biz. The closed 3 For The Stream showcase will take place at Melbourne’s Bakehouse Studios and be available to view online on March 19 and 20. 3 For The Stream will feature 19 acts who had been due to play SXSW including Luke Howard, Carla Geneve and Sophie Hutchings.
Country 2 Country Festival
C2C Festival has announced its 2020 edition has been postponed. The festival was set to return for its eighth year from March 13 – 15 March 2020 at The O2 London, 3Arena Dublin, The SSE Hydro. An official statement read: "Due to the global pandemic of COVID-19 and the changing nature of travel policies in other countries alongside possible extended future restrictions, it is with regret that Country to Country Festival 2020 – London, Dublin and Glasgow – is being postponed. Ticket holders are advised to hold onto their tickets. More information will be announced in the coming days on the rescheduled event. Thank you all for your understanding and patience at this very difficult time. C2C and its organisers apologise wholeheartedly for the time to work through the issues to get this statement out."
Avril Lavigne has cancelled her European/UK tour. A Twitter statement read: "A heartfelt message to my fans: As you all are aware, governments across Europe have continued to impose restrictions banning large public gatherings because of the continued spread of the coronavirus. Now the United States Of America has implemented its own travel ban. With these restrictions in place it means that I am no longer able to bring the Head Above Water Tour to Europe and the United Kingdom. And it sucks! I have been looking forward to this tour for so long. For the opportunity to reconnect with my amazing fans, supportive fans. My main concern continues to be your health and safety and I want to come back and rock out with you at another time when everyone can enjoy the shows without worry. Sending you all much love."
An official press release stated: "Due to the recently announced travel ban we must sadly cancel our March/April European dates. We sincerely apologize and are already working on rescheduling our European tour for later this year. Refunds will be available at point of purchase. We remain hopeful that the North American tour will proceed as planned beginning in Minneapolis on April 24th. We’ll continue to monitor the situation as it develops. Stay safe everyone."
C2C CMA Songwriters Series
Music Week has been told the following: "Due to the US travel restrictions announced overnight, we regret to announce that this evening’s CMA Songwriters Series show at indigo at The O2 has been cancelled. A refund will be automatically processed to the card used to purchase your tickets."
The Who postpone UK tour and TCT date
The band will now not play their UK arena tour, which was due to start on March 16 in Manchester or their Teenage Cancer Trust show at the Royal Albert Hall on March 28. Roger Daltrey insists that all the shows will “definitely happen and it may be the last time we do a tour of this type, so keep those tickets, as the shows will be fantastic”.
Tallinn Music Week moves to August
The Estonian conferences has announced it will take place this summer instead of later this month. "Following recommendations of the Estonian Health Board, TMW team and its partners have decided to postpone the March event owing to risks related to the spread of the COVID-19 virus. TMW 2020 has been rescheduled and will take place August 26-3 2020," they explained in a statement.
Music Week understands a number of workplaces will be temporarily closured to limit Covid-19 spread. Secretly Canadian and Global are understood to be limiting staff attendance, while the Beggars Group is planning a 'dress rehearsal' closure for a day next week.
MUSEXPO 2020 postponed
MUSEXPO, due to take place March 22-25 in Burbank, California, has been postponed by organisers. "I’d like to thank our generous sponsors, showcase artists, speakers, delegates, my MUSEXPO staff, and the team at Castaway and S.I.R. Studios for what would have been an amazing event, MUSEXPO 2020, but in the interest of all concerned we must do the right thing and postpone this event for a later date," explained president & founder Sat Bisla. In addition, our partners at AllAccess.com have joined us in also postponing Worldwide Radio Summit 2020 for a future date. That date will depend on the course of the (COVID-19) pandemic and how quickly it comes under control and everyone feels good about traveling and interacting with others on a more personal basis. All registrations will be carried over and fully-transferable to the new dates, once confirmed. We will notify everyone as soon as we have a confirmed date. We hope everyone will remain safe during this unprecedented health emergency."
Country To Country Festival
Old Dominion have been replaced by The Shires on the main bill. The CMA Songwriters show line-up is now Niko Moon, Jaren Johnston, plus Caylee Hammack, Tenille Townes and Phil Barton following the exit of Lori McKenna, Liz Rose and Hillary Lindsey.
Coachella and Stagecoach festivals delayed
The Californian festivals Coachella and Stagecoach have been put back to October organisers have announced. "At the direction of the County of Riverside and local health authorities, we must sadly confirm the rescheduling of Coachella and Stagecoach due to Covid-19 concerns," they explained in a statement. "While this decision comes at a time of universal uncertainty, we take the safety and health of our guests, staff and community very seriously. We urge everyone to follow the guidelines and protocols put forth by public health officials." Coachella, due to take place in April, will now happen on October 9-11 and October 16-18, 2020, while Stagecoach will happen October 23-25. Ticket holders can seek refunds if they are unable to attend the new dates.
NME & The 100 Club team up for SXSW showcase
NME and The 100 Club will stage a showcase for a range of artists who were due to perform at SXSW. The pop-up show is set for March 22, with line-up details set to be confirmed. “So many great bands have put time, money and emotional investment into playing stateside at SXSW, and we really feel for each of them with the news of its cancellation," said The 100 Club's Sam Craven.
Pearl Jam pull US tour
Pearl Jam have announced they will not be touring, and have criticised the US response to the Covid-19 outbreak in a post on their website.
"As residents of the city of Seattle, we’ve been hit hard and have witnessed first hand how quickly these disastrous situations can escalate. Our kids’ schools have closed along with universities and businesses. It’s been brutal and it’s gonna get worse before it gets better. So we are being told that being part of large gatherings is high on the list of things to avoid as this global health crisis is now beginning to affect all of our lives.
"Unfortunately, communing in large groups is a huge part of what we do as a band and the tour we’ve been busy planning for months is now in jeopardy. We have and will always keep the safety and well-being of our supporters as top priority.
"So it is with deep frustration and regret that we are forced to make this most unfortunate of announcements. This scheduled first leg of our PJ/Gigaton tour will need to be postponed and shows rescheduled for a later date.
"We’ve worked hard with all our management and business associates to find other solutions or options but the levels of risk to our audience and their communities is simply too high for our comfort level. Add to that we also have a unique group of passionate fans who travel far and wide. We’ve always been humbled by this and respect their energies and devotion. However in this case, travel is something to avoid.
"It certainly hasn’t helped that there’s been no clear messages from our government regarding people’s safety and our ability to go to work. Having no examples of our national health department’s ability to get ahead of this, we have no reason to believe that it will be under control in the coming weeks ahead.
"Again, here in Seattle what we are witnessing we would not wish for anyone. What we do wish for the rest of the country is that they can avoid the harsh negative effects of this and retain their sense of community and take care of one another. Just as we look forward to our next concerts and the ability to gather together and play loud songs as energised as ever."
Madonna abandons two dates
The singer's shows at Grand Rex in Paris on March 10 and 11 – due to be the last of her Madame X tour – have been cancelled after the French government banned gatherings of 1000 or more people.
Italy on lockdown
After restrictions in the north of the country, on March 10 the Italian government restricted travel across the whole of the country and public gatherings were forbidden. This has naturally impacted Italy's live scene, with shows from Kelis, Santana, Avril Lavigne and Rex Orange County all cancelled according to Live Nation.
Miley Cyrus not heading to Australia
The US singer has stated she will not be travelling to Australia ahead of a planned show,
Australia: Due to the recommendations of local, state, federal and international government authorities, including the Center for Disease Control, to reduce potential health risks in response to the current global health crisis, we are no longer traveling to Aus for the show.— Miley Ray Cyrus (@MileyCyrus) March 10, 2020
Despite no word from organisers, there is intense speculation that the Coachella Festival will be postponed. The event is due to start of April 10, but reports suggest plans are afoot to bump it back until October.
Richard Marx postpones March and April dates
The American singer will now not set out on his 2020 European tour this spring.
"To ensure the health and safety of my fans coming to the shows, the upcoming European tour has to be rescheduled due to the global health crisis," he said in a statement. "I am filled with so much gratitude for my fans and was so excited for an amazing European tour. These shows have been sold out for months and I was ready to have an amazing night of music with everyone. I will be back soon and we will have an amazing time.”
Virus goes viral
After advice that people wash their hands for the length of time it takes to sing Happy Birthday, a designer has created a generator allowing fans to add their favourite song lyrics to the NHS' handwashing diagram. Create your own song/ hand wash mash-up at washyourlyrics.com.