As concerns over novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continue to rise, Live Nation is postponing all domestic and international touring arena shows — including those of acts like Post Malone, Maroon 5, Billie Eilish, the Backstreet Boys and Jason Aldean — through the end of the month.
“At this time, we collectively recommend large scale events through the end of March be postponed,” the company told PEOPLE in a statement Thursday. “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.”
In addition to postponing shows, Live Nation also developed a task force with AEG, CAA, WME, Paradigm and UTA “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.”
According to Billboard, Live Nation has instructed their crews on current touring shows to return home. While several shows will play Thursday and Friday, the remainder will be postponed.
The virus has caused delays for multiple major events including the highly anticipated Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. It was originally scheduled to take place on the weekends of April 10 – 12 and April 17 to 19. Goldenvoice announced earlier this week that the spring festival will instead take place in the fall during the weekends of Oct. 9-11 and Oct. 16-18 because of looming concerns surrounding the pandemic.
Coachella’s sister country musical festival Stagecoach has also been pushed back. It will now take place during the weekend of Oct. 23.
“At the direction of the County of Riverside and local health authorities, we must sadly confirm the rescheduling of Coachella and Stagecoach due to COVID-19 concerns,” Goldenvoice said in a statement Tuesday.
“While this decision comes at a time of universal uncertainty, we take the safety and health of our guests, staff and community very seriously,” the statement continued. “We urge everyone to follow the guidelines and protocols put forth by public health officials.”
As PEOPLE previously reported, initial cases of the respiratory illness can be traced back to Wuhan, China in late December. Wuhan is a major transportation hub with hundreds of flights leaving and landing from the city of 11 million each day, and the virus quickly spread worldwide, leading the World Health Organization to declare a public health emergency, the first since the Zika epidemic in 2016.
President Donald Trump announced restrictions on travel from Europe to the U.S. for 30 days.
The World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic, urging world leaders and citizens to take action to help stop the spread of COVID-19. There are at least 1,302 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States, and at least 38 people have died, in the U.S. The majority of U.S. cases are in Washington, California and New York, and all three have declared a state of emergency to redirect funding.
The CDC recommends that the best prevention methods are basic forms of hygiene — careful hand washing, avoiding touching the face, moving away from people who are coughing or sneezing and staying home at signs of illness.
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