Amid panic buying and speculation that large keynote addresses of the sort popularized by Steve Jobs will become a thing of the past, music festivals are beginning to close up amid fears of the highly contagious Coronavirus pandemic.
Andrew Ryce writes that Marrakech’s Beat Hotel has been cancelled due to a ban on all “large gatherings” in Morocco.
Italy has banned all public events that “do not allow for a safety distance of at least one meter” between people – essentially closing all cinemas, theaters, clubs and announcing that sporting events will continue in empty stadiums.
Meanwhile, the first major cancellation in the United States allegedly took place today. It doesn’t get much bigger in terms of financial investments than Ultra Music Festival, but the event that was to take place March 20 through March 22 has allegedly been “postponed.” There is no indication of a make-up date – the Miami Herald speculates it may be “possibly for a full year, which would effectively cancel this year’s edition of Miami’s marquee electronic dance music event.”
One estimate suggests that Ultra Music Festival injects as much as $223 million into Miami’s economy each year.
In the business and tech worlds, Coronavirus has lead to the cancellation of annual events including Google’s I/O, Facebook’s F8 and (ironically enough) this year’s Global Health Conference & Exhibition where Donald Trump was scheduled to speak. Attendees to any large events should be anticipating a wave of cancellations to come as the first community spread transmissions of COVID-19 are reported in the United States.