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Canada’s indie venues bolstered by $100k aid

Independent live music venues in Canada will have the chance to apply for a share of a CA$100,000 (US$83,000) relief fund, launched by Jägermeister Canada.

According to the Canadian Live Music Association’s (CLMA) Covid-19 Venue Closures List, 89 Canadian music venues have permanently closed during the pandemic and a further 15 venues are in imminent danger of shuttering.

Thanks to the newly announced fund, 100 struggling Canadian live music venues will receive grants of $1,000 to help them soften the financial blow of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Eligible recipients for the relief will be selected through a lottery system, which Jägermeister will run in partnership with the CLMA.

Grant applications opened yesterday (25 May) and the deadline for submissions is Wednesday 2 June 2021 at 11:59 pm EST. Successful applicants will be notified via the CLMA at the end of June.

Venues must satisfy at least three of the eligibility requirements stated below, though exceptions may be made for venues in “rural or remote areas”:

Canada’s live music venues are also set to benefit from the recently announced 2021 budget, which includes C$50 million (US$40m) to help the sector weather the pandemic during 2021 and 2022.

 


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Canadian venues and festivals to adopt Safe Travels stamp

Festivals, venues and other live music organisations will be able to display the Safe Travels stamp, a mark that their events meet certain safety and hygiene standards, as part of a new partnership between the Canadian Live Music Association (CLMA) and the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO).

The Safe Travels symbol, an initiative of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), was originally designed for the tourism sector in order to help travellers recognise businesses which have adopted the standardised health and hygiene protocols set out under the programme. The protocols for convention centres, meetings and events, as well as for attractions and for hospitality operators, can be found on the WTTC website.

TIAO is administering the Safe Travels programme on behalf on the entire country. A current list of approved Canadian Safe Travels applicants can be viewed here.

“The Safe Travels programme will help us all to feel safe when we re-engage with the live experiences we miss so much”

“We know that millions of Canadians are excited to return to live music just as safe as it is to do so. That’s why our members continue to invest heavily in the protection of fans, artists and crew, leveraging best practices from at home and around the world,” says Erin Benjamin, president and CEO of the CLMA.

“With thanks to TIAO’s leadership, the Safe Travels Stamp programme will help us all to feel safe when we re-engage with the music and live experiences we miss so much.”

The CLMA is holding a Safe Travels information session on Zoom on 4 March at 2pm ET, which can be registered for here. To apply for a stamp, visit the TIAO site.

 


This article forms part of IQ’s Covid-19 resource centre – a knowledge hub of essential guidance and updating resources for uncertain times.

Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ IndexIQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Canada’s live sector offers to support vaccine rollout

Canada’s live music industry is offering its venues, staff and logistical expertise towards the country’s vaccine rollout, adding that they consider the sector “best-equipped” to partner with government and complete the programme.

In a letter to the minister of health and others, the Canadian Live Music Association (CLMA) says its venue owners and managers, and suppliers, would “eagerly want to support the efforts” of the vaccine distribution task forces across Canada.

“We’ve spent the last eleven months readying for reopening, for when the time comes,” reads the letter. “Now we have rigorous, tactical Covid-prevention plans in place, adapted by customising the very best practices shared through leadership, data and science from around the world – and here at home.

“We either own, or have access to, the infrastructure required to build-out and manage vaccination sites. And we have the people to staff, lead and support operations at every level.

“We have rigorous, tactical Covid-prevention plans in place, adapted by customising the very best practices”

“And our protocols evolve daily in order to accommodate all current or changing information. We consider ourselves not only ready, but best-equipped to partner with you to get the job done.”

Canada is the latest market to offer assistance towards its government’s vaccination programme, following pledges from Slovakia and the US in the last few weeks.

Live venues are already playing a key role in the immunisation process internationally, with concert halls, arena and stadia, and convention and conference centres offering their services as mass-vaccination sites.

While, German ticketing and promotion giant CTS Eventim is organising local Covid-19 vaccination appointments for the federal state Schleswig-Holstein, with plans to do the same in Austria, Brazil and potentially Finland and Italy.

 


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The Associates: BPI, CLMA, Dansk Live

Covid-19 has impacted every business sector around the world, but with live entertainment likely to be one of the last industries to return, given social distancing regulations, the associations that represent its millions of employees have never been more important.

As restrictions in many countries enter yet another month, for issue 91 IQ found out more about some of our association partners and discovered just what they are doing to help their members navigate and survive.

Following the last instalment with the AFO, AIF and BDKV, this time we check in with the UK’s BPI, the Canadian Live Music Association and Denmark’s Dansk Live.


British Phonographic Association (UK)
The British Phonographic Industry (BPI) champions the UK’s recorded music business, safeguarding the rights of its members and of the artists, performers and label members of collecting body PPL. Membership consists of more than 400 independent labels and the UK’s three majors, which together account for 85% of legitimate domestic music consumption and one in nine albums sold around the world. Membership costs £120 (€135) per year plus 3.5% of UK domestic PPL revenues.

During lockdown, BPI has been working with other music industry partners to pressure government into introducing measures to support the music industry, including the artist community and retail sector. As part of this initiative, the BPI has written to the chancellor to ask that VAT on physical music goods be zero-rated for an initial 12-month period.

The BPI has co-ordinated a donation of £1.5m (€1.69m) by UK record companies, the Brit Awards, Amazon Music and PPL that will go towards Help Musicians’ Coronavirus Financial Hardship Fund and to other initiatives that are supporting artists. The majority of the donation (£1.25m) has gone directly to Help Musicians, enabling the organisation to reach a further 2,500 musicians in need of immediate financial help. In addition to this, £250,000 has also been set aside to support musicians through other channels, including other musicians’ wellbeing charities and support to the grassroots live sector. BPI hopes that further donations will be announced.

The CLMA secured historic changes … regarding access to loans for live music venues and other organisations

Canadian Live Music Association (Canada)
The Canadian Live Music Association (CLMA) is the voice of the country’s live industry, advancing and promoting its many economic, social and cultural benefits.

CLMA’s more than 260 members include concert promoters, festivals, talent agencies, presenters, venues, ticketing companies, industry associations and suppliers. Membership fees range from C$250–500 (€165–330) for associate members (depending on annual budget) to $2,500 (€1,650) for full membership. Associations or presenters pay annual fees of $250–1,500 (€165–990), while suppliers are split into three categories, depending on annual revenues, accruing fees of $1,250 (€825), $2,500 (€1,650) or $5,000 (€3,300).

The CLMA was one of the first associations to quantify and share the impact of Covid-19 with government, recommending and helping to shape relief measures that would respond to the diversity of needs found within the live sector. The association advocated for, and secured, historic changes to the Business Development Bank of Canada practice regarding access to loans for live music venues and other arts organisations.

Among its other lockdown successes, CLMA encouraged (and is now seeing) funding agencies to flow emergency relief funding to members, with flexible terms; it has championed sector-specific relief efforts that will recognise the breadth, role and value of the live sector; and it has organised a quick and efficient convening and response system for members and the live music sector, providing ongoing resources and information and bringing the community together.

Dansk Live has stepped up its lobbying activities and has managed to secure help for the country’s venues and festivals

Dansk Live (Denmark)
Dansk Live is the business organisation for Danish venues and festivals. In Denmark, venues do the majority of domestic programming directly, so there aren’t a lot of independent promoters, and the typical venue member is a venue with a small staff that operates in the local area. Festival members include large festivals such as Northside, Roskilde, Copenhell and Smukfest, and also smaller festivals, often organised by people in their spare time.

Denmark’s live entertainment scene relies on volunteers, both at venues and at festivals. The association lobbies on behalf of its members; provides counselling; arranges industry conferences and meetings; and also compiles statistics about the live industry in Denmark.

The association currently has 120 members, including 37 festivals, while the majority are venues. Membership fees are based on the size of the venue or festival and are approximately 7,500–42,000 kr. (€1,000–5,630) per annum.

During the coronavirus pandemic, Dansk Live has stepped up its lobbying activities and has managed to secure help for the country’s venues and festivals; albeit some Danish venues are still not receiving sufficient assistance.

As elsewhere, Dansk Live staff members have been learning a lot about videoconferencing, as well as compiling pandemic-related information and helping members share knowledge on how to cope with the crisis.

 


View the full Associates list in the digital edition of IQ 91. To keep on top of the latest live music industry news, features and insights, subscribe to IQ now


This article forms part of IQ’s Covid-19 resource centre – a knowledge hub of essential guidance and updating resources for uncertain times.

Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ IndexIQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Canada creates $20m fund for commercial live music sector

The Canadian government today (8 July) announced that organisations operating in the for-profit live music industry can gain access to a CA$20m (€13m) Covid-19 support fund.

The funding, the first sector-specific support to be granted to the commercial music sector in Canada, comes in the second phase of distributions from a CA$500 million (€326m) emergency support fund for cultural, heritage and sport organisations that have been negatively impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The second wave of funding distributions will see temporary support given to organisations that do not currently receive funding from Canadian Heritage, the Canada Council for the Arts, Telefilm Canada or the Canada Media Fund, including “organisations in live music”.

“Unfortunately, we have already lost venues and companies. But this will make a difference for others, and comes not a moment too soon”

Types of eligible companies include for-profit venues, festivals, promoters, booking agents and managers, as well as non-profit organisations who were otherwise ineligible for phase one distributions. Successful applicants will have to meet the eligibility criteria. The minimum contribution will be $5,000 (€3,260).

The music funding, which also includes $5m (€3.3m) for the recorded sector, will be delivered through the Canada Music Fund and administered by Factor and Musicaction.

“This is significant,” comments Canadian Live Music Association CEO Erin Benjamin. “For the historic recognition the for-profit live music sector is finally receiving from the federal government (having never been able to access funding in the past), and for the help the financial relief may provide to those who are in urgent need.

“Unfortunately, we have already lost venues and companies. But this will make a difference for others, and comes not a moment too soon.”

More information about the fund, eligibility and applications is available here.

 


This article forms part of IQ’s Covid-19 resource centre – a knowledge hub of essential guidance and updating resources for uncertain times.

Industry orgs urge gov support in face of Covid-19 [updating]

Music industry associations in a number of markets are calling on their respective governments for financial backing and relief measures in the wake of the damage coronavirus is causing to the business.

Umbrella bodies and promoters’ associations from Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Russia and the UK are among those to lobby their governments for assistance as covid-19 causes more event cancellations and temporary venue closures by the day.

Last updated 11.30 GMT on Friday 20 March. What is your association doing to tackle coronavirus? Email anna@iq-mag.net to submit missing association information.

 


Australia

Live Performance Australia (LPA)

The LPA put forward a comprehensive AU$750 million (€413m) emergency support package to the Commonwealth, state and territory governments in Australia on 20 March.

“Today all of Australia’s peak bodies and the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA) stand united in calling for a clear commitment from government that it will adopt these measures, otherwise, it’s the final curtain for Australia’s world class live performance industry which has fostered generations of local and global talent,” comments LPA chief executive Evelyn Richardson.

“This is an economic, social and cultural emergency that demands a fast, creative, flexible and agile response from all levels of government.”

The live performance industry package consists of:

The package would include:

“Realistically, we’re looking at a three to six month closure period at least before any recovery phase,” says Richardson.

LPA predicts that, over the course of three months, half a billion dollars of revenue and thousands of jobs will be lost from Australia’s live industry.

“Governments need to focus on supporting our companies to keep people employed and in jobs,” states Richardson.

“They also need to provide immediate income support for our creative workers who are now facing a very uncertain future.

“We need a comprehensive support package to ensure our companies survive and our industry is in the best position it can be when it is possible to resume operations.”

“Realistically, we’re looking at a three to six month closure period at least before any recovery phase”

Bulgaria

Music Stage – Bulgarian association of concert promoters, music and cultural events

In Bulgaria, all state-owned venues, private music clubs, theatres and sports hall have been shut down until further notice, as the state has imposed a ban on gathering of more than 20 people in public places.

Music Stage has conducted meetings with government representatives and has proposed:

The association also has the intention of propsing a reduction of valued-added tax drom 20% to 5% on all cultural events.

“The only way to avoid bankruptcies is to be able to promote new shows with affordable ticket prices and lower production and promotion costs,” comments Music Stage chairman Stanislav Drazhev. “Further we hope that all travel bans will be lifted and all sectors in the economy related to our activities will be flexible in the future so we can elevate the live entertainment business once again.”

“The only way to avoid bankruptcies is to be able to promote new shows with affordable ticket prices and lower production and promotion costs”

Canada

Canadian Live Music Association (CLMA)

On 18 March, the CLMA welcomed a new federal aid package, which it believes particularly benefits in particular self-employed and freelance workers, small businesses, artists and musicians.

The government plan includes:

On Sunday 15 March, CLMA president and CEO Erin Benjamin sent a letter to the Canadian minister of finance  recommending relief measures for the country’s live industry in a time if “extreme difficulty”.

The association estimates that over 36% of its members will “fail out-right” within the next four to weeks, with “others laying off approximately 76% of their current workforce”. The Canadian live industry currently contributes CAN $3.5bn (€3.8bn) to Canada’s GDP and employs 72,000 people.

“The economic, social and cultural output of the live music industry is entrenched in Canadian society,” reads the letter. “The severe damage done to the live music sector will send a ripple effect through our creative community and economy, one that will be hard to reverse.”

The CLMA recommends:

The CMLA is among those surveying members to measure the impact of Covid-19 on the Canadian music industry. The survey, which can be accessed here, is running until 19 March.

“The economic, social and cultural output of the live music industry is entrenched in Canadian society”

Denmark

Dansk Live

Danish industry association Dansk Live has been in talks with the government since recommendations were made that event over 1,000 capacity – later extended to those over 100 people – be cancelled or postponed.

“There was no other choice than to cancel events and we managed to lobby for solutions to support the promoters and venues suffering from this,” Dansk Live’s Esben Marcher tells IQ. “We are currently in talks with politicians on how to help the smaller venues that are affected by the new situation.

Dansk Live welcomes initiatives already launched by the government, such as a fund to compensate those forced to cancel events.

“Some of these [initiatives] will also be helping the venues, but the initiatives are focusing on pay for the employees and ways of postponing tax and VAT payments. There’s currently no way of compensating the income loss on bar sales,” says Marcher. “The situation will hit the the small venues quite hard.”

The association is currently collecting data on postponed or cancelled shows, loss on ticket sales and artist fees. It is launching a new questionnaire to its members in the next few days.

“There was no other choice than to cancel events and we managed to lobby for solutions to support the promoters and venues suffering from this”

Europe 

Pearle*

Europe-wide live music industry body Pearle* is calling upon the European Union and governments to provide targeted measures following the impact of Covid-19 on live events.

The body is asking the EU:

Furthermore, the organisation urges member states to enforce specific measures relating to labour and employment, tax, financial and grants, asking government to:

“In these times, culture is not a luxury but key to our societies and a unifying and mobilising force all over Europe,” reads the Pearle* statement on Covid-19. “More than ever culture is needed in a crisis situation.”

“In these times, culture is not a luxury but key to our societies and a unifying and mobilising force all over Europe”

Impala

The European independent music companies association, Impala, has set up a Covid-19 task force to help address the effects on the virus on the independent sector.

To promote a co-ordinated approach across Europe, the task force will publish next week a package of recommended measures at national, European and sector level. The plan is being designed to ensure that the music ecosystem is shielded from long term harm and to promote independent music.

Impala’s task force will also hold weekly calls to monitor action taken by the European institutions, as well as sector initiatives, and establish an inventory to keep members informed and promote best practice across the continent. National associations in Europe will be able to work with the task force to help devise national strategies with governments and key sector players.

“We fully support the public health measures that are being put in place,” says Impala executive chair, Helen Smith. “Governments are, however, reacting at different speeds and some are leaving too many decisions to businesses. This is causing unnecessary confusion and hardship.”

“In times of crisis, smaller actors are the most exposed,” adds Francesca Traini, chair of Impala’s Covid-19 task force. “The Impala task force is working on a call to action on all key levels.”

“In times of crisis, smaller actors are the most exposed”

France

Tous pour la Musique (All for music)

French association Tous pour la Musique, which represents around 30 live music organisations in the country, has called for “exceptional economic and financial aid from the public authorities for performing arts professionals”.

“There is an urgent need to strengthen support systems for businesses, to compensate employees who find themselves without a salary and temporarily adapt the unemployment compensation rules for intermittent workers in the entertainment industry,” reads a statement issued by the organisation.

“There is an urgent need to strengthen support systems for businesses”

Germany

BDKV – Federal Association of the Concert and Event Industry

German promoters’ association BDKV has welcomed the measures put in place by the German government “to cushion the economic effects of coronavirus”, including making the short-time working allowance more flexible, introducing tax liquidity support for companies, creating the conditions for easier access to credit, and additional special programmes.

However, the association states that the measures “are not adequately suited to compensate for the loss of income due to events being cancelled over several weeks and, above all, for the preliminary costs of planned concerts and tours that have been already invested in.”

The BDKV has suggested an expansion of the catalog of measures for the event industry, asking for:

Talks between the BDKV and the government will continue this week.

“Measures are not adequately suited to compensate for the loss of income due to events being cancelled over several weeks”

German Music Council

The German Music Council, or Deutscher Musikrat (DMR), has welcomed the €550bn of financial aid dedicated to the creative industries and other German businesses by the government, but calls for more help for freelancers.

“The DMR is demanding a basic income of €1,000 for all freelance creative professionals for a period of six months,” states professor Christian Höppner, general secretary of the German Music Council.

“With the nationwide shutdown, the incomes of freelance musicians, be it in the event area or in the music education profession, immediately fall away, while costs continue to run. Given the average gross annual income for freelance musicians, there is no scope for reserves.

“It is crucial that help can now be provided quickly and without red tape.”

The umbrella organisation is among those running surveys to gauge the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on their members. The survey, which runs until 31 March, can be found here.

“With the nationwide shutdown, the incomes of freelance musicians, immediately fall away, while costs continue to run”

Italy

Assomusica

In Italy, the European country hit worst by the coronavirus, promoters’ association Assomusica has predicted the industry will face a loss of around €40m from 23 February until the start of April.

Measures proposed by Assomusica include:

“We really hope that President Conte and ministers Franceschini (culture) and Gualtieri (economy and finance) can take into consideration measures of real help for the organisers of concerts and music shows, and above all do not consider that the live show is only the one financed with citizens’ money,” says Assomusica president Vincenzo Spera.

“We really hope that President Conte can take into consideration measures of real help for the organisers of concerts and music shows”

Japan

All Japan Concert and Live Entertainment Promoters Conference (ACPC)

The Japanese live entertainment industry, including representatives from ACPC, called together a all-party parliamentary group for live entertainement on Tuesday (17 March), submitting a petition asking for:

“About three weeks have passed since the Japanese prime minister announced a ban on events,” ACPC spokesperson Katsuhiko Kondo tells IQ. “Our estimation is that about 1,550 performances have been cancelled or called off, resulting in an estimated loss of 45bn yen (€381.6m).”

Our estimation is that about 1,550 performances have been cancelled or called off, costing the industry 45bn yen”

Netherlands

Vereniging van evenementenmakers (VVEM) – Association of event organisers

Dutch promoters’ association VVEM has welcomed a recent package of financial measures from the government that allocates up to €20bn to support companies and the self-employed and recognised the cultural sector as one of the hardest hit.

Measures include:

“We see that the government is well aware of the need for business, large and small, and has announced firm measures,” comments VVEM’s Willem Westermann. “Some of the measures can also be implemented quickly.

“As an industry organisation, VVEM is now busy directing the possible additional sector-specific measures. How that will work out is not yet clear, but we hope and expect to be able to report on it soon. ”

“As an industry organisation, VVEM is now busy directing the possible additional sector-specific measures”

Norway

Norwegian Live Music Association

The Norwegian Live Music Association has been working to help its 420 members since the government put forward a ban on large gatherings on 5 March, later extended to a closing of all events from 12 to 24 March.

“From small festivals and promotors based on voluntary work to the big, commercial actors; this is hitting hard,” the association’s CEO, Tone Østerdal, tells IQ. “Our members report on a loss of income at NOK 430m (€33m) for March and April alone.

“If the situation continues over the summer, hitting the festival season, we can add NOK  2.8bn (€213.7m) to that.”

Through government lobbying, Østerdal says the assocaition has, to a certain extent, achieved what it has asked for, including:

Although Østerdal states the fund dedeicated to the live music sector “is not big enough”,  she adds that “it’s a much-needed start”.

“From small festivals and promotors based on voluntary work to the big, commercial actors; this is hitting hard”

Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Belarus

Colisium International Music Forum

Colisium, an association for promoters in Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Belarus,  has put together documents seeking government support in the face of Covid-19.

The association requests:

“Our prognosis is that there will be a three to six month period without the events, especially in the largest hubs of Moscow, Saint-Petersburg, Yekaterinburg (Russia), Minsk (Belarus), Kiev (Ukraine), and Almaty (Kazakhstan),” Colisium’s Sergey Babich tells IQ.

“We also expect there will be an economic decrease of  80 to 90% for the live event industry – before the pandemic, the live events industry in our countries collectively was worth $2.2bn a year.”

Babich adds that there is also a possibility of a 12-month gap in programming, leading to a much longer restoration period for the industry.

“Our prognosis is that there will be a three to six month period without the events”

Spain

Esmúsica

Spanish music federation Esmúsica, which was formed towards the end of last year, has proposed a raft of measures to the government to help the music industry weather the coronavirus “crisis”.

The federation suggests:

The federation also asks for the creation of a state fund to support the industry and the approval of an action plan to help the sector recuperate, including subsidising ticket prices, increased contracting with public entities, creating a promotional campaign for cultural activities and encouraging investment in the sector.

Spanish music federation has proposed a raft of measures to to help the music industry weather the coronavirus “crisis”

Sweden

Svensk Live

Swedish promoters’ association Svensk Live has asked the government to extend existing relief measures for the live industry.

“The package that has been released is focused on jobs and how to keep people in labour during this period,” explains Svensk Live’s Joppe Pihlgren. “It is about how the employer can get tax reduction, or postpone payments.”

Pihlgren says the association is in constant contact with the country’s culture minister and is preparing a suggestion on how members could get compensation for basic costs, such as rent, and for the costs for the shows that will be cancelled.

“This is a first step to help members survive.”

“The package that has been released is focused on jobs and how to keep people in labour during this period”

UK

UK Music

Tom Kiehl, acting CEO of UK Music, has called for “urgent clarity” from the UK government, following new guidelines that see emergency workers no longer provided to mass gatherings and advise people to avoid public gatherings spaces such as social venues, pubs and clubs.

“The government must spell out whether there will be a formal ban, when that might come into effect, which venues and events will be impacted and how long the measures will remain in place,” states Kiehl.

Previously, the Industry umbrella association called for a “framework of support” for the country’s music business in a letter to culture secretary Oliver Dowden on Friday (13 March).

The UK live industry contributes £5.2bn a year to the economy and sustains over 190,000 jobs.

Measures recommended by UK Music include:

“The impact of the virus could deal a hammer blow to the British music industry and threaten the livelihoods of many people,” says UK Music’s acting CEO Tom Kiehl. “It is imperative that the Government takes urgent steps to safeguard a music industry, which is the envy of the world.”

“The government must spell out whether there will be a formal ban, when that might come into effect, and how long the measures will remain in place”

Music Venue Trust (MVT)

The MVT today issued an open letter to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, demanding he take immediate action to protect the country’s grassroots music venues.

The independent venue charity is asking the government to:

According to the MVT, the entire grassroots music venue sector could “be mothballed for eight weeks and saved permanently” for £40 million. The charity is encouraging people to support its campaign by signing a petition here.

 


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US advises ban on events of 50+, extends to 10+

US President Donald Trump has recommended that people avoid gathering in groups of more than ten for the next 15 days, following Sunday’s advice from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that all events of more than 50 people be called off for the next eight weeks.

Trump released the new guidelines yesterday (16 March), which in addition to avoiding groups of ten plus, included closing bars, restaurants, clubs and schools.

“If everyone makes this change or these critical changes and sacrifices now,” said Trump, “we will rally together as one nation and we will defeat the virus and we’re going to have a big celebration all together.”

The president’s announcement follows advice from the national health protection agency, CDC, that all large events including “conferences, festivals, parades, concerts, sporting events, weddings, and other types of assemblies” be cancelled or postponed for the next two months, “in an attempt to reduce introduction of the virus into new communities and to slow the spread of infection in communities already affected by the virus”.

All music venues, bars and restaurants have shut down in cities including New York, Los Angeles, Boston and Washington.

The disease has led to the cancellation or rescheduling of major festivals including Coachella and South by Southwest and countless high-profile tours in the country over the past few weeks.

More than 3,500 cases of coronavirus have been reported in the US, with the virus causing at least 57 deaths so far.

President Donald Trump has issued guidelines stipulating that people avoid gathering in groups of ten plus for the next 15 days

Over the border in Canada, the government has also advised the cancellation of all large events, as parliament remains suspended until 20 April.

On Sunday, organisers announced the postponement of industry conference and festival Canadian Music Week, which was set to take place from 19 to 23 May at the Sheraton Centre Hotel in Toronto. The event is now scheduled for 8 to 13 September.

“Due to the continuing spread of the novel COVID-19 virus we believe it is our social responsibility to postpone the upcoming Canadian Music Week 2020 Conference and Expo,” says CMW president Neill Dixon in a media statement.

“In light of the recent growing number of event cancellations, Public Health Canada statements, and various provincial gathering bans, we concluded this was the right decision. The health and safety of our speakers, exhibitors, sponsors, visitors, and staff is our number one priority.”

Acts including Pearl Jam, Celine Dion, Michael Buble, Matthew Good, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons and Good Brothers have all called off upcoming shows in the country.

The Canadian Live Music Association (CLMA) has sent a letter to politicians calling for “fiscal intervention during this unparalleled time of crisis and disruption”, including a compensation fund for concert and festival producers, assistance for self-employed workers and tax relief for those working in the live music industry.

Photo: Daniel Mayer/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0) (cropped)

 


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