Live Nation, AEG Pausing All 2020 Tours Due to Coronavirus Pandemic
Live Nation and AEG are suspending all of their arena tours temporarily due to growing concerns over the coronavirus pandemic.
Rolling Stone reports that the competing concert promotion groups banded together with the most influential booking agencies in the U.S. to offer a unified response to the virus outbreak. Executives from Live Nation, AEG, Creative Artists Agency (CAA), William Morris Endeavor (WME), Paradigm and United Talent Agency (UTA) issued a joint statement on Thursday (March 12) to announce the unprecedented move, which affects all Live Nation and AEG arena shows both in the U.S. and internationally.
“The world’s leading forces in live entertainment have come together to form a global task force to drive strategic support and unified direction ensuring precautionary efforts and ongoing protocol are in the best interest of artists, fans, staff, and the global community,” the statement reads. “At this time, we collectively recommend large scale events through the end of March be postponed. We continue to support that small-scale events follow guidance set by their local government officials. We feel fortunate to have the flexibility to reschedule concerts, festivals, and live events as needed, and look forward to connecting fans with all their favorite artists and live entertainment soon.”
Billboard reports that Live Nation informed its employees early on Thursday that it is pausing all of its currently scheduled arena tours through the end of the month in light of the outbreak, as the virus continues to disrupt trade all over the globe. Both Live Nation and AEG are telling all of their touring shows to prepare to return home for the time being.
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Some shows on Thursday and Friday will still go forward, but all Live Nation shows beginning this coming weekend will be impacted by the decision. The company is also telling employees to work remotely and not come into the office until further notice.
Company executives told employees on a call that March is usually a slow touring month, and Live Nation plans to reevaluate the situation at the start of April. They hope to be able to resume tours in May or June and are not planning any staff cutbacks or layoffs.
Some of country music's most prominent artists are a part of Live Nation's 2020 Country Megaticket, which allows a fan to purchase one ticket that gains them access to multiple shows. Though many of those tours start later in the year, it's currently unclear how Live Nation and AEG's decision could affect future tours if the pandemic continues to worsen.
The news comes after a week of announcements about a wide range of cancellations of live events, from sports to political rallies, concerts and festivals.
The Houston Rodeo, SXSW and Tin Pan South are among the other events that have been canceled or postponed, and the Zac Brown Band have postponed their spring tour. Old Dominion, Home Free and Brett Young are among the artists who have pulled out of scheduled shows, and Kenny Chesney has delayed the start of his 2020 tour over coronavirus concerns. Dan + Shay have also postponed their spring tour dates.
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