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Ultra Miami called off amid coronavirus fears

The flagship Miami edition of electronic dance music (EDM) event Ultra Music Festival has been cancelled in a bid to prevent the spread of coronavirus, Covid-19.

The decision, made during a meeting between local politicians and festival organisers, was reported by the Miami Herald on Wednesday (4 March).

The 165,000-capacity festival, which was due to take place from 20 to 22 March in Miami, Florida, was set to feature acts including Flume, AfroJack, Armin Van Buuren, Amelie Lens, Martin Garrix, Carl Cox and Eric Prydz. According to the festival website, over 90% of tickets had been sold.

The Miami festival is the second in the Ultra franchise to be called off this week. The Abu Dhabi edition of the event was cancelled on Tuesday. A statement on the festival website reads: “The local organisers of Ultra Abu Dhabi have cancelled the upcoming event. Tickets will be refunded through the original point of purchase.”

East Everything, Major Lazer, Nicky Romero, Seth Troxler, DJ Snake and Eric Prydz were set to perform at the festival, which was scheduled to take place at the 25,000-capacity du Arena on 5 and 6 March.

The consequences that Covid-19 is having on the live music industry has formed a key topic of discussion at the ongoing ILMC

The EDM festival franchise has events in twelve countries worldwide. Upcoming editions in Sydney and Melbourne on 7 and 8 March are still scheduled to go ahead.

The consequences that Covid-19 is having on the live music industry has formed a key topic of discussion at the ongoing International Live Music Conference (ILMC) in London, with top industry executives stressing that shows will continue to go on wherever possible.

Although concerts have been cancelled in many Asian territories, and the governments in countries including Italy, France and Switzerland have issued bans on public events of a certain size, business as normal continues in many markets such as Germany, the Netherlands and the UK.

A UK medical advisor recently stated there is “no clear rationale” for closing events to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

A blanket ban on all events in the north of Italy, the European nation worst affected by the virus, is to be extended to the whole country, according to a draft decree seen by Reuters, that orders “the suspension of events of any nature… that entail the concentration of people and do not allow for a safety distance of at least one metre (yard) to be respected.”

All schools and universities have been closed in the country and all major sporting events are to be closed behind closed doors for the next month. More than 3,000 cases of the virus have been recorded in the country.

Photo: Ducbeo2000vp/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0) (cropped)

 


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Mariah Carey performs free in Dubai Expo 2020 launch

A year to the day before Dubai hosts a six-month long World Expo event, Mariah Carey is due to perform in a free concert at Burj Park.

The concert, dubbed One Year to Go, will take place on 20 October, with local singer Hussain Al Jassmi, as well as acts DJ Bliss, Abri and the Funk Radius and Khalifa also billed to perform.

The Expo, which was awarded to Dubai in 2013 by the International Exposition Bureau in Paris, will take place on a main 438-hectare site enclosed by three thematic districts – opportunity, mobility and sustainability.

A variety of live performances, cultural activities, business presentations and global celebrations will occur during the Expo.

The United Arab Emirates is also hosting live performances at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Formula One race from 28 November to December 1. Lana Del Rey will perform in the Middle East for the first time at the event, alongside EDM star Marshmello, the Killers and rapper Travis Scott.

In December, British singer Dido will perform and Dubai’s Media City Amphitheatre (15,000-cap.) and Bruno Mars will close out the year with a headline New Year’s show at the du Arena (25,000-cap.) in Abu Dhabi.

Last month, AEG Ogden, the operator of Dubai’s 17,000-capacity Coca-Cola Arena, celebrated the role the arena was playing in placing the UAE – and the wider region – on the international touring map.

Read more about the Middle East’s growing live events market below.

Full of Eastern Promise: The Middle East matures


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