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News March 4, 2020

Music companies, artists stay grounded as Coronavirus spreads

Senior Journalist, B2B
Music companies, artists stay grounded as Coronavirus spreads

As the Coronavirus outbreak continues to spread the globe, major music companies are grounding their artists and staff.

Every day, a top-shelf touring artist reschedules or scraps tours that’re routed through Asia or Italy, areas where infections of COVID-19 are spiking,

Australia is already feeling the sting. Earlier this week, Lacuna Coil scrapped their two Australian dates, for the Sydney and Melbourne legs of Download Festival, the fallout from the Italian goth metal band cancelling an upcoming tour of Asia for safety reasons.

Almost certainly, more Australian concerts will be postponed or wiped altogether.

The music majors are taking precautions. According to a report filed by Billboard’s Melinda Newman, Sony Music Group is temporarily banning trips to Asia and northern Italy, sources say, and Universal Music Group has suspended international business travel until further notice.

Warner Music Group has messaged staff to stay vigilant, and stay home if they’re feeling unwell.

Also, BMG has urged staff to avoid cross-border travel. Travel to mainland China is banned outright and its employees in Hong Kong and Beijing have been told to work remotely.



Kobalt and Concord Music Group have reportedly suspended international travel. For Concord and its workforce, that includes attending SXSW later this month.

Rolling Stone reports TikTok reps are also pulling out of SXSW. “While we think the risk is relatively low, we are erring on the side of caution as we prioritize safety for our team, creators, partners, artists, and brands,” reads a statement from the China-owned digital business.

While trying to keep the planet’s seven billion or so inhabitants calm, the World Health Organisation this week shared the alarming news that we’ve entered “unchartered territory” with the virus, with more than 3,000 deaths recorded since the outbreak.

The vast majority of infections are in China, with upwards of 80,000 confirmed cases. On Tuesday, the number of confirmed Coronavirus cases in Australia had risen to 38.

Many artists are deciding against taking risks. Green Day, Stormzy, Mariah Carey, Avril Lavigne and Mabel are just some of the acts who’ve pressed pause on travel plans.

ARIA Award-winning Sydney pop singer and songwriter artist Ruel recently scrapped the Asian leg of his Free Time World Tour to September 2020, due to the Coronavirus.

This article originally appeared on The Industry Observer, which is now part of The Music Network.


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