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Coronavirus Cancellations: Festivals, Concerts, Tours Affected by the Outbreak

Music industry is taking preventative action to keep fans safe

The music industry is postponing or canceling tours, concerts and major festivals to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Ian Langsdon/EPA-EFE/Shutterstoc

Editor’s Note: The below list is constantly updating — last update March 10th.

As the coronavirus outbreak continues to spread and spark growing concerns globally, the music industry is taking preventative action — postponing or canceling tours, concerts and major festivals to help contain potential infections while writing heartfelt statements to their fans and attendees.

Ultra Music Festival was the first major festival to pull the plug, while South by Southwest will not take place for the first time in 34 years. From Pearl Jam to Madonna, here’s a full list of artists taking precautions.

Knotfest Japan
It’s been four years since Slipknot last brought their heavy metal festival to Chiba, Japan, and fans must now wait a little longer due to coronavirus concerns. “We are working with Slipknot and their management team on the new dates and will provide updates and announcements on the Knottiest Japan website and socials as details are confirmed,” organizers said in a statement. Korn, Marilyn Mason, Coldrain, Anthrax, Man With a Mission, Babymetal and more were also scheduled to perform.

Korea Times Music Festival
The annual Los Angeles festival, which was slated for April 25th, 2020, was postponed due to travel restrictions in Asia. “It is with deepest regret that we announce the postponement of the 18th KTMF scheduled on April 25th, 2020, due to current travel restrictions in Asia,” the organizers said in a statement. “We truly apologize for the inconvenience to those who have been looking forward to this event and ask for your kind understanding.”

South by Southwest
Representatives for the city of Austin officially confirmed on March 6th that the annual festival is canceled, marking the first time in 34 years that it will not take place. “It’s really unfortunate to be canceling South by Southwest,” Austin Mayor Steve Adler told the media. “It’s a really important event to our city in a lot of ways, tied who we are in this city, but I really look forward to the next iteration of South by when it comes back again.”

Ultra Music Festival
The Miami festival has been vibrating since 1999, but it was canceled last week due to concerns over coronavirus spreading — making it the first major festival to do so. Afrojack, Major Lazer, Zedd, David Guetta, Flume, DJ Snake, Armin Van Buuren and others were set to perform.

“We completely understand how extremely frustrating this is because so many of you are looking forward to coming to Ultra, having already made travel arrangements,” the festival wrote on their website. “This is, however, an unprecedented issue which is not being taken lightly, and we must continue to defer to the authorities for guidance. Ultimately, there is no higher priority for us than the health, safety and physical well-being of each of you, together with everyone else involved in the production of the event.”

Winter Music Conference 
In the wake of Florida Governor Ron Desanti’s state of emergency declaration on March 9th, the annual Miami conference has been postponed. “After spending the past ten months preparing for the event with our team, panelists and event partners, we are profoundly disappointed,” the conference wrote on their website, “however, there is nothing more important than the health, safety, and physical well-being of our attendees and employees.”

The K-Pop superstars canceled a string of tour dates planned for South Korea. The concerts, set to take place at the Seoul Olympic Stadium, were meant to kick off the group’s world tour in support of their newly released Map of the Soul: 7 album. “While we hope that the situation will improve, we must take into consideration the health and safety of hundreds of thousands of guests as well as our artists and the dire impact a last-minute cancellation may have on guests from overseas, production companies, and staff,” the group’s management company Big Hit Entertainment said in a statement to RS. 

Green Day
The band postponed its March tour in Asia, which included stops in Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Taipei, Hong Kong, South Korea and Japan, due to concerns about health and travel. “We know it sucks, as we were looking forward to seeing you all,” the band wrote on Twitter, “but hold onto your tickets we’ll be announcing new dates very soon.” 

While fans still get to see the band out on the road supporting their End of the Road tour, all meet-and-greets have been canceled due to concerns surrounding the spread of the coronavirus. “We have been advised to temporarily cancel these events given the reality that we do this nightly for a hundred or more fans,” manager Don McGhee said in a statement, according to Blabbermouth. “Shows will continue as scheduled and we look forward to resuming our time with you backstage.”

In the latest cancellation of her ill-fated Madame X tour, the pop legend canceled her final two shows in Paris, citing concerns over the ongoing pandemic. “Following official notification from the Office of the Police this morning prohibiting all events with an audience attendance of over 1000, Live Nation regrets to announce the final two Madame X performances previously re-scheduled to 10-March and 11-March are forced to be canceled,” reads a statement on her website. “We regret the disappointment to fans.”

The National 
The National have canceled two upcoming shows in Tokyo. While the band held back on name-checking the virus in their tweet announcing the decision, they said they made the decision “in the interest of public safety.” For fans who planned to attend, ticket refunds will be available at the point of purchase from March 3rd until March 31st, 2020. “We look forward to returning in the future and performing for our friends in Japan,” the National said.

Pearl Jam
One week before launching their spring tour in support of their new album Gigaton, Pearl Jam announced a postponement. “As residents of the city of Seattle, we’ve been hit hard and have witnessed firsthand how quickly these disastrous situations can escalate,” the band wrote on their website. “Our kids’ schools have closed along with universities and businesses. It’s been brutal and it’s gonna get worse before it gets better. We have and will always keep the safety and well-being of our supporters as top priority.”

Days before the band’s Miraculous 2020 World Tour was scheduled to kick off in Bologna, Italy, the European tour has been canceled in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. “While we deeply regret this unfortunate circumstance, the safety of our fans is the main priority for the Santana Organization,” President of Universal Tone Management, Michael Vrionis, said in a statement. “We will keep you all informed of new performance dates as they are made.”

The British rapper became the first Western act to postpone his March tour in Asia, which included shows in South Korea, Japan, China, Malaysia and Singapore. “I was seriously looking forward to bringing the #HITH [Heavy Is the Heart] World tour to Asia and playing some epic sold-out shows,” he wrote on Instagram. “But due to the ongoing health and travel concerns surrounding the Coronavirus, I’m regrettably having to reschedule this leg of the tour.”

Zac Brown Band
After playing five stops of their spring 2020 Owl Tour, the band decided to postpone the remaining dates due to public health concerns. “This was an extremely difficult decision, but the well-being of our fans is always our top priority,” Zac Brown Band wrote in a statement. Currently, the band’s summer 2020 Roar With the Lions Tour is still expected to run as scheduled, commencing May 24th in Gilford, New Hampshire.