Entertainment industry struck by COVID-19

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Photo by Sean Madden

Image of the Javits Center on March 27

Emily Greenzang, R3 Op-Ed Editor

As the number of canceled events worldwide continues to rise, the spirits of fans of the arts continue to fall. While a definitive number of cancellations and postponements due to the coronavirus is impossible to calculate, the number is certainly surging into the hundreds, if not thousands. Concerts, plays, conventions and more are shutting down or moving their operations to a later date.

San Diego Comic Con International, one of the largest conventions in the U.S. and world, has not yet postponed their events, which span from July 23 to July 26. Other conventions, such as BookCon, have opted to postpone to July rather than cancel. On top of this, the Javits Center, where BookCon is usually held, has been converted into a militarized hospital for COVID-19 patients due to overflow from hospitals. And, the PNC Bank Arts Center has been converted into a testing site for the virus. 

Regarding music, big-name artists such as Justin Bieber, Niall Horan, Camila Cabello and more have postponed their upcoming tours. 

While, so far, large-scale conventions and concerts have not had to fully cancel their events and instead have simply postponed them, the effect of COVID-19 on music festivals has not fared the same way. Governors Ball 2020 has been canceled, along with Alabama’s Hangout Fest Gulf Shore beachside bash, which was set to headline artists like Billie Eilish and Post Malone.

For events like these, where many tickets are sold through companies like Ticketmaster, StubHub and SeatGeek, many ticket holders have grown concerned about potentially losing money. Fortunately, all three of these companies are guaranteeing refunds for canceled events. Ticketmaster even specifies that buyers are eligible to sell tickets through its marketplace for rescheduled events that they are no longer able to attend. And, if these events eventually do get canceled, ticket buyers will still receive their refund. Of course, these promises have been made, but not much information has been released surrounding the truth of this in the end for the customer. While it’s hard to know if refunds will be administered, nothing will beat the concert experience that fans are missing. 

WHS senior Johnny Bracco planned to attend an upcoming NF concert that has now been postponed to July. “It would have been my first concert and I was really looking forward to going,” he said. He plans to attend on the make-up date, but it is still unknown if large events will be allowed by then.

Another part of the live entertainment industry that has been greatly affected is theatre. Currently, Broadway has planned to cancel all shows through June 7. In the U.K., The Old Vic Theatre has also been forced to close its doors, postponing upcoming productions such as Endgame starring Alan Cumming and Daniel Radcliffe, and 4,000 Miles starring Eileen Atkins and Timothée Chalamet. 

So, for now, all fans can do is wait and hold onto their hope and, hopefully, their money.