UPDATE: Over the past few weeks, the global spread of COVID-19 has affected nearly everything about our society. A few weeks ago, we were mostly going about our business, but then everything changed. As health concerns escalated, the cancelations started pouring in. With large gatherings outlawed and entire cities and states under shelter in place orders, pretty much everything in March and April has been put on hold.
But now, as we move forward, major events later in the spring and into the summer are having to face tough decisions about whether they should cancel or postpone. It’s a tough balance between taking the necessary precautions, and trying to maintain things as normally as possible. Here are some of the biggest cancelation updates since the initial wave a few weeks ago.
Before the impact of coronavirus was really felt in the US, there was already speculation that this year’s Summer Olympics could be affected. This week, those fears became reality, as the International Olympic Committee announced that the Tokyo 2020 Games will be postponed to 2021. Obviously travel and crowd concerns were a major factor, but the Olympic qualification process for many sports has been disrupted by all the cancelations this spring. Exact dates for Tokyo 2021 haven’t been announced yet, but the organizers say they will be no later than summer.
The Met Gala
The first Monday in May will be a lot less fashionable this year. The annual A-list gala is held at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, which is currently closed until further notice. This left the gala organizers no choice but to postpone, and there hasn’t been a new date announced. This year’s theme is “About Time,” and now all our favorite fashionable celebs will have a little more ~time~ to work on their looks. Whenever the Met Gala does happen, I expect perfection.
The first wave of spring festivals, like Ultra and Coachella, were quick to announce postponements or cancelations, but now the disruptions are pushing further and further into festival season. The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival (aka JazzFest), was pushed from late April to the fall. May’s Lovers & Friends Festival, which we were already skeptical about, has been pushed to August and reduced to a single day. And New York City’s Governor’s Ball, normally held in early June, is canceled altogether after efforts to find a new date fell through. Basically, if you have festival plans any time in the next couple months, don’t be too confident that those won’t be messed up.
Music festivals aren’t the only ones being affected. The Cannes Film Festival, normally held in May, has announced an indefinite postponement, along with an extension of deadlines for film submissions. But while the organizers say they are hoping for a “deferred event,” they’ve acknowledged that the final result might be a full cancelation. The calendar for rescheduled events is going to be pretty packed later this year, and there might not be room for everything.
The Tony Awards
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The 74th Annual Tony Awards, scheduled to air live on the CBS Television Network on Sunday, June 7th from Radio City Music Hall in New York City, will be postponed and rescheduled at a later date, in coordination with our broadcast partner. The health and safety of the Broadway community, artists and fans are of the utmost importance to us. We will announce new dates and additional information once Broadway opens again. We are looking forward to celebrating Broadway and our industry when it is safe to do so. #tonyawards
As of right now, all Broadway theaters are closed until April 13th. It seems likely that the closure will be extended, but either way, the Broadway season is basically f*cked. The deadline for shows to open in order to be Tony-eligible is in late April, meaning that many new shows were set to open in March and April. With that in mind, it only made sense for the Tonys, usually in early June, to be pushed to later in the year. Surely the eligibility deadlines will be adjusted, and hopefully the damage can be minimized.
But much damage has already been done, and some shows won’t recover. Two shows set to open during this period have announced that they won’t open at all, and multiple other planned spring openings have been pushed to the fall. New shows on Broadway are already financially precarious under normal circumstances, so the effects of the pandemic could be especially drastic here.
ORIGINAL ARTICLE: When it comes to the global spread of COVID-19, this week has felt like a major tipping point. At this point, coronavirus is a pandemic, confirmed cases are pretty much everywhere, and more and more major events are being affected every day. With all the cancelations, postponements, and other updates, It’s basically impossible to keep up with every coronavirus development, but what else are we supposed to talk about right now? Here are some of the major things that have been canceled because of coronavirus so far.
I’m not trying to go on a cruise even when there’s not a pandemic, but yeah, now seems like an especially bad time. Last month, passengers on the cruise ship Diamond Princess were quarantined off the coast of Japan for two weeks, and by the time they disembarked, over 600 passengers had been infected. This is easily my biggest nightmare. Other cruise ships have been affected in recent weeks, and this week, companies are starting to pull the plug. In the past two days, Princess Cruises announced a 60-day shutdown, and Viking Cruises announced it will suspend operations until April 30th. These are the first two major cruise companies to shut down due to the outbreak, but I can’t imagine they’ll be the last.
NBA To Suspend Season Following Tonight's Games pic.twitter.com/2PTx2fkLlW
— NBA (@NBA) March 12, 2020
This week has basically been a domino effect in the sporting world. On Sunday night, the BNP Paribas Open, one of the world’s largest tennis tournaments, was canceled just hours before it was scheduled to begin outside of Palm Springs. On Monday, the Italian government shut down all sports, including the top-tier Serie A football league, which had already been playing without fans present, until at least early April. On Wednesday, it was announced that the World Figure Skating Championships, scheduled for next week in Montreal, will not be held. Last night came perhaps the biggest announcement yet—that the NBA will suspend its season “until further notice” after Utah Jazz player Rudy Gobert tested positive for coronavirus.
On Thursday, the high-profile cancelations kept rolling in. Early in the day, the ATP—the governing body for men’s tennis—announced an historic six-week suspension of their season, immediately canceling upcoming tournaments on four different continents. Soon after, the NHL and MLB both followed the NBA’s lead, suspending their seasons. Major League Baseball is currently in spring training, and those games will be canceled. The start of the regular season, usually in early April, will be postponed until further notice.
At the moment, some other sporting events are pressing on, but not without some major restrictions in place. On Wednesday, the NCAA announced that the 2020 March Madness tournament will be played with no fans present, an unprecedented decision meant to fight the spread of the virus. The tournament is scheduled to begin next week, so it remains to be seen whether this decision will hold up, but obviously there’s a lot of money on the line with large-scale events like this. It’s a strange time to be a sports fan, and no doubt more events will be affected before things get back to normal.
For many of us, it’s not a big deal to work from home for a couple weeks. But with growing health concerns, schools are being forced to grapple with how to take things remote. Many colleges and universities have announced this week that classes will be held online—some for the remainder of the semester. Along with these decisions, many schools are forcing students to move out of their on-campus housing and return home within the next few days. For some schools that are currently on spring break, students won’t even be allowed to return to campus to get their things until an unspecified later date. All I can say is I’m glad I’m not still in college, because I would be having a full-blown nervous breakdown.
Festivals & Concerts
As we all know by now, Coachella and Stagecoach have been postponed until October. Other than the fact that they won’t be able to provide storylines for Bachelor In Paradise, at least they’re still happening. Other festivals haven’t been so lucky, and have been forced to cancel altogether. Miami’s Ultra and Calle Ocho festivals were the first major cancelations, followed by Austin’s SXSW. Those are the biggest festivals that have been affected so far, but depending on the situation in the coming weeks, many more festivals in the spring and early summer could be at risk.
In the more immediate timeframe, countless artists have canceled or postponed tour dates because of coronavirus concerns. Avril Lavigne was forced to cancel an entire Asian tour, and Madonna axed her planned shows in Paris after limitations were placed on large public gatherings. Other artists who have canceled shows include BTS, Cher, and Mariah Carey, but the list is only getting longer.
(SPOILER): I’m sure ABC will make it official soon, but “Summer Games” I’m hearing is cancelled due to the coronavirus. With international contestants on the show, it’s too risky and they don’t want to take a chance.
— RealitySteve (@RealitySteve) March 11, 2020
Nothing is safe at this point—not even our precious Bachelor shows. Reality Steve reported on Wednesday afternoon that The Bachelor Summer Games will be canceled because of the pandemic, with an official announcement expected soon. This makes sense, considering that the show involves contestants traveling from other countries, and with the new European travel ban, who knows if they’ll even be allowed in the country. Honestly, I don’t know if people will be so sad about this, but it’ll be a different story if Paradise gets messed up. ABC, we need this now more than ever.
Numerous other shows have also been affected, including Riverdale, which halted production this week over fears that someone working on the show was exposed to coronavirus. Additionally, Survivor and The Amazing Race have both announced production will be delayed due to travel concerns for their cast and crew. On top of this, many talk shows are taping without studio audiences for the near future, including The View, Wendy Williams, and Today. That could just be the tip of the iceberg in terms of the effects on the entertainment industry, but it’s too soon to know.
St. Patrick’s Day
Depending on where you’re at in life, this will either be devastating, or something you never would have even thought about. On Wednesday, the New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade was officially postponed to an unspecified later date. I’m not sure anyone will care about St. Patrick’s day in June, but whatever, canceling is tough. This decision came after Ireland shut down its St. Patrick’s Day festivities, and Boston did the same. I guess you can still go to the bar and drink Guinness if you want, but the vibe is definitely going to be different this year.
You know sh*t is really getting serious when Miami nightclubs are shutting down. Today, it was announced that LIV and Story will be “temporarily pausing operations” until the situation is under control. Also today, the mayor of Jersey City announced that the city will implement a 10pm curfew at bars and nightclubs, because we all know you can’t get sick before 10pm. Whatever, I don’t make the decisions here.
There are more and more coronavirus-related updates happening literally every minute, so it’s tough to keep track of what’s going on, but hopefully this helped. Obviously, things are changing quickly, and all we can do is try to stay safe and make smart choices. Wash your f*cking hands!
Images: Artem Pachkovskyi/Shutterstock