Facebook Twitter YouTube SoundCloud RSS

List of ‘Mass Gatherings’ and Events Canceled Due to Coronavirus Fears

The outbreak of the COVID-19 coronavirus has prompted a number of local, national and industry authorities to order the cancellation of numerous major events, over fears of  large numbers of people held in one place and remaining in close contact for extended periods of time. The economic fallout from these crisis management measures will be immense.

These restrictions are also being extended to schools and universities across the United States. As of last night, some 225 American colleges and universities are implementing emergency contingencies to move classes and tutoring online.

Other countries are taking even more extreme measures. In the Republic of Ireland, all schools and universities have been shut due to the death of one elderly woman in a hospital. Irish prime minister Leo Varadkar also added that any indoor events of more than 100 people and outdoor gatherings of more than 500 should be cancelled.

Aside from schools and colleges, government and civic authorities around the world are also placing a limit on public gatherings. In France, nonessential “mass gatherings” of over 100 persons are being restricted. Similar measures are being enforced in Italy, which is considered the European epicentre of the coronavirus.

Prohibited events will include public meetings, lectures, music concerts, awards shows, and sporting events. NPR reports:

On Wednesday night in Switzerland, the French violinist Renaud Capuçon and the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra played a full concert — to an empty hall.

Their performance, which was canceled after the Swiss government prohibited all gatherings of 1000 or more people, was broadcast by Swiss public television and radio. It’s just one of the ways that performers and organizations worldwide are grappling with the uncertainties of the coronavirus, and how to handle large gatherings of audiences in close quarters.

The Western classical music industry is now heavily reliant upon East Asia, and specifically China, as crucial consumer markets. In recent weeks, the Boston Symphony Orchestra has cancelled a tour of Asia and Washington, D.C.’s National Symphony Orchestra has cancelled three concerts in China. New York’s famed Juilliard School, which is scheduled to open a satellite conservatory in Tianjin, China this autumn, announced at the end of January that it has suspended all in-person auditions and other admissions-related activities in China and Asia indefinitely.

Aside from canceling an event, Canadian Health Services, offers the following strategies for risk mitigation:

  • reducing the number of participants or changing the venue to prevent crowding;
  • staggering arrivals and departures;
  • providing packaged refreshments instead of a buffet;
  • increasing access to handwashing stations;
  • promoting personal protective practices (hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette, staying home if ill);
  • offering virtual or live-streamed activities; and
  • changing the event program to reduce high risk activities such as those that require physical contact between participants.

Travels bans are also creating a chilling effect for artists scheduled to appear. UK’s Telegraph reports:

President Trump’s month-long travel ban from 26 European countries to the US will plunge the industry into further crisis, although the ban doesn’t include the UK. “It’s pandemonium. The uncertainty is killing everything. We simply don’t know how bad this is going to be,” says one live music promoter. A second industry executive with almost three decades’ experience says he has “never known such uncertainty in the live industry in all the years I’ve been working in it”. 

The following is a provisional list of major global sporting events, festivals, music concerts and industry conferences which have already been canceled or postponed due to fears over the outbreak of the Coronavirus. Note: many of the following listings and details printed below were originally compiled and published by Canadian publication Global News, which can be seen here and here.

Sporting Events:

NBA: North America’s National Basketball Association season has been suspended until further notice following a Utah Jazz player, Rudy Gobert, testing positive for COVID-19. The Toronto Raptors have been told to self-quarantine after they played against the Jazz two days before the announcement was made.

Major League Baseball: The league’s annual Spring training season has been canceled, and will delay the start of the regular season for at least two weeks, possibly more – amid the coronavirus outbreak fears. “MLB will continue to evaluate ongoing events leading up to the start of the season,” said a league spokesperson. TBA.

NHL: North America’s National Hockey League announced on March 12 that their season is suspended until further notice.

World Figure Skating Championships (Montreal): Quebec’s health ministry announced a cancellation on March 11.

NCAA Tournament (March Madness): NCAA president Mark Emmert had originally announced on March 11 that scheduled college basketball games will be played in front of limited audiences, but later on announced the annual tournament has been completely canceled.

La Liga Football League: Spain’s top soccer league has suspended all games and asked players of Real Madrid to self-quarantine after one tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

Inter Milan Football Club: The soccer club suspends all games after Juventus FC player tests positive for the novel coronavirus, according to the Evening Standard.

British Premier League: UK’s top soccer league has announced it’s suspending the remainder of its regular season until early April, at least. Fears of the coronavirus spreading among fans and players has prompted this unprecedented decision.

Major League Soccer: The league announced it would suspend the season for 30 days.

2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo: The games have not been cancelled, yet. However, the impact of COVID-19 is already being felt. At the traditional flame-lighting ceremony (Torch Relay) in Greece on March 12, following the announcement of a pandemic, spectators were not allowed. The Tokyo games are set to begin on July 24 and end on Aug. 9.

International Festivals:

St. Patrick’s Day (Dublin, Ireland): The country cancelled its annual St. Patrick’s Day parade on March 9.

Cherry Blossom Festival (Washington DC): The district has cancelled its annual cherry blossom festival in March.

Japan Cherry Blossom Festival (Tokyo, Japan): The city cancelled two cherry blossom festivals on March 11.

Coachella and Stagecoach Festivals: One of North America’s largest music festivals with some 140,000 revelers every year, postponed the event until October. “We must sadly confirm the rescheduling of Coachella and Stagecoach due to COVID-19 concerns,” the statement said.

South By Southwest: (SXSW), the beloved Austin, Texas-based music festival, become the first officially cancelled music gathering in the U.S. The festival tweeted that for the first time in 34 years, it would be cancelled, after the mayor of Austin, Steve Adler, announced the decision as a precaution against the new coronavirus.

Music Concerts:

Pearl Jam: The Seattle-based grunge legends became the first — of perhaps many to come — to postpone an entire North American tour. On Monday evening, frontman Eddie Vedder confirmed the news in a statement shared through the official Pearl Jam website. “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,” wrote the Black singer, who did not explicitly name COVID-19 in the lengthy statement.

Santana: Canceled its upcoming European tour amid concerns over the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). The band, led by guitarist Carlos Santana, is just the latest in a series of acts and events to cancel or postpone due to health concerns,

Mariah Carey: Postponed March 10 show in Honolulu, Hawaii, due to “evolving international travel restrictions” in a tweet, but will Carey will return to Honolulu on Nov. 28 at the Blaisdell Arena.

Ciara: American singer/songwriter postponed her March 19 performance at the grand opening of the new United Service Organizations (USO) charity in her hometown of Fort Worth, Texas. The pregnant musician confirmed the news to the Associated Press on March 7. “With the continued spread of the coronavirus throughout the U.S., as a pregnant woman, my doctors have advised me to limit travel and large group gatherings. I am disappointed I won’t be able to return this month to the place where I was born and put on the amazing show we had planned,” the 34-year-old said in a statement. “I urge everyone to be diligent in taking steps to stay healthy and safe.”

KISS: Though the remaining shows on KISS‘s final tour of North America has not been postponed or cancelled yet, the fire-breathing, makeup-covered rockers have “temporarily” put a halt on any of their meet-and-greets.

Fish: (Status unconfirmed) Scottish singer and former frontman of Marillion, is due to start a 12-date UK tour in March, but says he’s “stuck between a rock and a hard place” as his insurance won’t reimburse him if he has to cancel shows, if a band member contracts the disease or even if the Government bans large events due to coronavirus. He would, to adapt a phrase, be a Fish out of pocket. “It’s quite scary. I’m in a difficult position. I’ve just spent £12,000 on two weeks rehearsals with a full band. I’m the boss of my band, I’m my own record company, and I’m the one who’s underwriting the entire tour. In an ideal world, if we could cancel then we would. But if we cancel I’ll be liable for all the venue hire, the hotels, everything. So we have to forge on ahead,” he says (Source: Telegraph).

Zac Brown Band: In the midst of its spring Owl tour, the Zac Brown Band issued a statement to its social media channels on March 10, announcing the postponement of its 13 remaining dates in North America — including one in Toronto on March 15. “Out of caution and due to increasing public health concerns, Zac Brown Band is postponing the [tour],” wrote the band. “This was an extremely difficult decision, but the well-being of our fans is always our top priority.”

Bikini Kill: Popular all-female American punk rock band, made the decision to postpone four dates on its upcoming and highly anticipated North American tour on March 11. The news was confirmed in an official statement shared through the band’s official website on Wednesday, citing the importance of taking “health and safety very seriously” in the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak.

2020 Juno Awards: Though it may technically be classified as an awards show, each year for five decades, the Junos has united some of Canada’s biggest musicians to celebrate the nation’s “biggest night in music,” with tributes, awards and many, many onstage live performances. “Through our collaborative discussions and with input and guidance and the full support of our trusted partners, including the province of Saskatchewan and Saskatchewan Ministry of Health, it is with an incredibly heavy heart that we collectively confirm the cancellation of the 49th annual Juno Awards and Juno Week activities in Saskatoon due to concerns surrounding COVID-19,” the academy wrote.

Green Day: The iconic punk trio, followed with a similar announcement, revealing they had postponed the Asian leg of their Hella Mega tour with Weezer and Fall Out Boy.

BTS: On Feb. 27, the world-renowned South Korean K-pop band (aka the “Bangtan Boys”) became one of the first reported music groups to cancel a string of concert dates as a result of the novel coronavirus. They cancelled the three opening shows of the 2020 Map of the Soul tour in their hometown of Seoul.

Madonna: Cancelled two shows in Paris as a result of a knee injury. However, the announcement came shortly after France banned gatherings of more than 1,000 people as a result of the continued risk and threat of the new coronavirus, according to Reuters.

Ultra Abu Dhabi: Popular music festival in United Arab Emirates held in tandem with its sister event in Miami — has been canceled due to coronavirus concerns.

Other Coronavirus cancelations include: New Order, Khalid and Avril Lavigne were also forced to reschedule their upcoming tours in Asia, with Stormzy announcing he had cancelled dates altogether in a since-deleted post. Outside of Asia, Louis Tomlinson, the former One Direction singer, postponed a headlining show in Milan, promising on Twitter he’d return in July, and Miley Cyrus has cancelled her Australian bushfire relief concert after authorities recommended the move.

The Canadian Live Music Association (CLMA) has issued an official statement regarding the COVID-19 outbreak and how it plans to keep Canadian music industry executives up to date with what’s happening amid the newly announced pandemic and how to ensure the safety of both fans and artists. The CLMA — which describes itself as the voice of Canada’s live music scene — wrote on Wednesday: “Working with public health authorities and resources, CLMA members are able to assess any risks associated with their events and respond accordingly.

Film Premiers:

No Time to Die: The upcoming James Bond film became the first film to be delayed worldwide. As a result of the increasing threat of the virus, the release of the spy flick was pushed back to November in not only Asia and Europe but also the U.K. and North America.

A Quiet Place Part II: Original U.S. Release Date: March 20. New U.S. Release Date: TBD. Director John Krasinski’s followup to his horror hit, A Quiet Place starring his wife Emily Blunt, has been delayed indefinitely. Krasinski wrote in an Instagram post: “One of the things I’m most proud of is that people have said our movie is one you have to see all together…I’m gonna wait to release the film til we CAN see it all together!”

Peter Rabbit 2: Original U.S. Release Date: April 3. New U.S. Release Date: August 7. Like No Time to Die, Peter Rabbit 2 was supposed to release in the U.K. and then the United States. Both premieres will be delayed until the end of the summer when studios are hoping people will finally be able to venture to the movie theater again.

Fast and Furious 9: Original U.S. Release Date: May 23. New U.S. Release Date: April 2, 2021. The latest entry in the Fast and Furious franchise will be delayed nearly a year in order to avoid a coronavirus box office slump. “Moving will allow our global family to experience our new chapter together,” Universal said in a statement, nodding at the series’ international appeal. Fast and Furious 9 has been teasing the return of a character who is long presumed deceased, so it’s likely that the move is also designed to stop spoilers.

The Lovebirds: Original U.S. Release Date: April 3. New U.S. release date: TBD. The rom com is not over — it’s just delayed. Issa Rae and Kumail Nanjiani’s rom-com-turned-caper was supposed to release in April, but Paramount Pictures is delaying its release until a time yet to be determined. Nanjiani has been one of the most active celebrities on Twitter calling for measures to protect people’s safety during the coronavirus outbreak.

Political Conferences:

The Council on Foreign Relations: CFR was due to hold a roundtable titled “Doing Business Under Coronavirus” on Friday, but decided to cancel it amid fears of the Coronavirus, Bloomberg News reported. The nonprofit think tank on US foreign policy and international affairs, on East 68th Street, also has called off other in-person meetings in New York, Washington, DC, and around the country from March 3 to April 3, the news outlet reported.

NATO Annual Report Conference: Precautionary measures are in place at NATO Headquarters to limit the further spread of the COVID 19 virus, including restricted visitor access. In light of these measures, the Secretary General will for the first time hold a “virtual press conference” on Thursday 19 March 2020 at 11:15 to launch his Annual Report for 2019.

Zionist Federation Annual Dinner: UK’s Zionist Federation has put its annual event on hold. “It is with great regret that we have had to take the difficult decision to cancel our Annual Dinner. Having taken advice and monitoring the situation closely, we have decided that we cannot risk the health and well being of our guests. This is our key fundraising event of the year and we rely heavily on the income we generate from it. Without this income, we are unable to continue our vital work, to stand up for Israel, to fight its detractors and celebrate its strengths,” said ZF press office.

Industry and Tech Conferences:

E3: The annual Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) was cancelled due to concerns over the spread of the coronavirus. The organizer, Entertainment Software Association (ESA), announced their decision on March 11 in a statement: “After careful consultation with our member companies regarding the health and safety of everyone in our industry—our fans, our employees, our exhibitors, and our longtime E3 partners—we have made the difficult decision to cancel E3 2020, scheduled for June 9-11 in Los Angeles. Following increased and overwhelming concerns about the COVID-19 virus, we felt this was the best way to proceed during such an unprecedented global situation. We are very disappointed that we are unable to hold this event for our fans and supporters. But we know it’s the right decision based on the information we have today. Our team will be reaching out directly to exhibitors and attendees with information about providing full refunds.”

Google’s I/O developer event: The annual developer conference that’s usually hosted by Google in Mountain View, Calif., in May is cancelled, and guests can receive a refund.

TED 2020: The upcoming conference, originally scheduled for the end of April, was set to bring about 1,000 people to Vancouver. It’s been postponed until July 20 to 26.

F8 conference: F8 is considered Facebook’s biggest event of the year and was supposed to be held in San Jose, Calif., in May. The company announced at the end of February that the conference is cancelled and will be replaced with livestreamed content.

South by Southwest (SXSW): The tech conference runs alongside the festival in Austin, Texas, was supposed to include programming on film, music, culture and technology. As of March 6, it was cancelled.

Mobile World Congress: The annual trade show for the communications industry in Barcelona, Spain was cancelled on Feb. 12.

Shopify Unite 2020: The conference held in Toronto that was set for early May was cancelled.

EmTech Asia: Technologies conference EmTech held in Singapore has been held until Aug. 4 to 5.

2020 Global Health Conference & Exhibition: U.S. President Donald Trump was scheduled to speak at this health technology conference that’s been cancelled for the first time in its 58-year history. It was set for March 9 to 13 in Orlando, Fla.

Adobe Summit: The summit was scheduled for March 29 to April 2 in Las Vegas, Nev., and more than 20,000 people were expected to attend. It’s now been cancelled and will be hosted online, according to the summit’s site.

Collision conference: The technology conference that was set for June in Toronto will be held online after it was cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns.

Facebook’s Global Marketing Summit: Facebook’s annual marketing conference, scheduled for March 9 to 12 in San Francisco, Calif., was cancelled. The event typically draws about 5,000 people.

IBM’s Think conference: More than 30,000 people were supposed to attend this developer’s conference in San Francisco, Calif., in May, but IBM cancelled it and converted it to an online event.

Game Developers Conference: This video game development trade conference has been postponed until the summer from its original dates in March. The event was set to draw around 30,000 people, and exhibitors were pulling out prior to the announcement.

Note: many of the listings details printed above were originally compiled by Canadian publication Global News here and here, as well as listings from other publications linked in article including Time Magazine.

READ MORE CORONAVIRUS NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire Coronavirus Files




Get Your Copy of New Dawn Magazine #203 - Mar-Apr Issue
Get Your Copy of New Dawn Magazine #203 - Mar-Apr Issue