As the Corona Virus further develops each day the public simultaneously grows in concern. What started as a simple, contained outbreak has now turned to a potential pandemic that is halting many non-essential industries. Unfortunately, amongst the many markets that are being brought to a stand-still is that of the concert industry. First we painfully said goodbye to South by Southwest, then Coachella got postponed. Now, the live-music business is in flux and is facing billions of dollars in lost income as its two largest promoters (Live Nation and AEG) shut down shows.
If you didn’t already know, live performances are a crucial source of income for artists, whether you’re a superstar or independent, in our modern streaming era. Concerts are equally an essential source of revenue for crew members, merchandise sellers and a wide range of others who depend on live music, all of which are now facing what could be months of lost wages.
Since the outbreak of the coronavirus disease at the end of 2019, more than 80,000 people have contracted the disease, resulting in more than 2,700 deaths according to the World Health Organization. For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia. The vast majority of people recover from the new virus. The World Health Organization further asserts that people with mild illness recover in about two weeks, while those with more severe illness may take three to six weeks to recover.
Although we are grateful for the extensive precautions concert promoters, club operators, artists, and record labels are taking toward safe guarding the well being of our nation, one can’t help but wonder what the repercussions of such decisions will look like for our economy? So far, it seems we can predict a difficult year for artists that could be full of postponements and cancellations — and we all know what that means, millions or even billions of dollars in lost income. According to Billboard, shares of Live Nation fell 16.6 percent on Wednesday, representing a single-day loss of more than $1.8 billion in stock market valuation. And it’s unclear when stocks will improve, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost more than 1,800 points on Thursday amid concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic and a U.S. travel ban.
Though the future of live entertainment in 2020 seems to be dilapidating before our eyes the best way we can all help is to do our due diligence of washing our hands multiple times throughout the day in 20 second intervals, avoid touching our faces, coughing and sneezing responsibly, and most importantly not panicking.
To keep up with concert and tour cancelations visit Billboards ongoing list of updates.