As the number of cancellations on account of the COVID-19 coronavirus continue to mount, Live Nation Entertainment and AEG will postpone all of their large-scale tours. Billie Eilish, Cher, and Post Malone are among the artists whose tours will likely be affected. Previously, acts like Pearl Jam, Madonna, and My Chemical Romance announced postponements.
Billboard reports that Live Nation informed its employees of the decision on Thursday, instructing acts currently on tour to get ready to return home. The move will impact all tours operated by the company, including those domestically and internationally. A select number of shows scheduled for Thursday and Friday will still go ahead, but starting this weekend all shows will be postponed until at least the end of March.
Additionally, the company has told all employees to work remotely for the rest of the month, and its Beverly Hills headquarters will be "mostly closed." One executive told employees that March is typically one of the slower months of the year for Live Nation, and the situation will be re-evaluated at the start of April. The current plan is to resume touring by May or June. As of right now, no layoffs are planned.
As Rolling Stone reports, the music industry is facing the potential of billions in losses on account of cancellations over coronavirus concerns. As Howard King, managing partner at law firm King, Holmes, Paterno and Berliner LLC, has warned, some of the smaller promoters and record labels could be hurt the most by the virus. "All these expenses they don't get back could put them out of business," he said.
Live Nation and AEG were joined by Creative Artists Agency (CAA), William Morris Endeavor (WME), Paradigm, and United Talent Agency, in releasing a statement about the active measures they're taking in the concert industry moving forward.
“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,” they said in the joint statement. “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.”
Touring stocks in general have taken a major hit as of this week. Billboard reports that Live Nation's shares fell by over 20 percent after the World Health Organization declared the virus a pandemic. Numerous live events have been cancelled, including Coachella, which has been postponed until October.
In a statement regarding her tour postponement, Billie Eilish said, "i’m so sad to do this but we need to postpone these dates to keep everyone safe. we’ll let you know when they can be rescheduled. please keep yourselves healthy. i love you." The shows affected run from March 13 (Philadelphia) to March 28 (St. Louis).
It was later announced that all stops on Eilish's WHERE DO WE GO North American tour will be rescheduled. All previously purchased tickets will be honored for the new dates, which should be announced soon.