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Concert promoters hope coronavirus-based tour hiatus is temporary

On Thursday afternoon, concert promoter Live Nation announced it would be postponing all its tours, both international and domestic, with plans to reevaluate the situation at the beginning of April.

Shortly after the Live Nation announcement, the plot thickened considerably, when the concert promotion giant’s primary competition, AEG, announced that it, too, would join the fight against the spread of coronavirus by postponing its major tours through at least March.

The two concert promotion behemoths, often given in the past to bitter quarreling and litigation, have joined forces – along with related booking agencies – in order to respond to the crisis.

Early on Thursday evening, Live Nation and AEG issued a joint statement.

“The world’s leading forces in live entertainment have come together to form a global task force 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. At this time, we collectively recommend large scale events through the end of March be postponed. 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.”

Both Live Nation and AEG expressed hope the situation will be at least somewhat resolved by April, and that the major spring/summer tours now on hold will be able to resume.

How it all plays out will determine whether Western New York is able to enjoy a scheduled concert season that is one of the more densely packed in recent memory. Of course, this is a mild inconvenience when compared to the public health crisis we are in the midst of, but a limited concert season will have an economic impact on our region.

Among the major concerts potentially affected by the postponement, if it carries on past the optimistic April projection, are the following. Note that, at present, none of these shows are officially canceled:

  • The full lineup of shows scheduled for Darien Lake PAC is comprised of Live Nation productions.
  • Tool, KeyBank Center, May 2  (Note: Though the majority of Tool’s tour is being handled by Live Nation, the Buffalo show is a joint production of John Scher/Metropolitan Entertainment and Magic City Productions. What effect this will have on potential postponement remains unclear.)
  • The Head & the Heart with Margo Price, May 27, Artpark (Live Nation)
  • Vampire Weekend, Artpark, June 2 (Live Nation)
  • David Gray, Artpark, July 13 (Live Nation)
  • Janet Jackson, KeyBank Center, July 21 (Live Nation)
  • Bon Iver, Artpark, July 29 (Artpark &AEG)
  • Justin Bieber, KeyBank Center, Aug. 24 (AEG)

Also, on Friday, the Town Ballroom has announced that, effective immediately, it would close its doors for the next three weeks. The venue will attempt to reschedule all affected concert bookings. In the event that they are unable to, full refunds will be offered. Owners hope to re-open the venue on April 4.

Coronavirus and WNY's concert season: You can’t stop the music ... or can you?

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