The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 17 March 2020
Conventions Cancelled - The convention/exhibition sector is being hit hard. Following the cancellation of Pro Light + Sound in Frankfurt, The 2020 NAB Show, which was slated to begin April 18 at the Las Vegas Convention Centre, has been cancelled.
"In the interest of addressing the health and safety concerns of our stakeholders and in consultation with partners throughout the media and entertainment industry, we have decided not to move forward with NAB Show in April. We are currently considering a number of potential alternatives to create the best possible experience for our community," Gordon H. Smith, president and CEO of the event, said in a statement on the National Association of Broadcasters website.
He added that they are "committed to exploring all possible alternatives so that we can provide a productive setting" for the event. The annual confab, which in 2019 reported attendance of roughly 90,000, includes a massive technology exhibition as well as a conference.
Sounds of Silence - The growing list of cancelled tours and gigs makes depressing reading. The Who were the first musicians to cancel a major tour in the UK and Ireland, saying the decision was made with "much regret" but "fans' safety is paramount". Due to start in Manchester on 16 March and finish at Wembley on 8 April, all 10 shows are now set to be rescheduled for later in the year. They have also called off a planned show at the Royal Albert Hall in aid of the Teenage Cancer Trust, which was set to take place on 28 March, but say they plan to reschedule this as well.
In a statement, Roger Daltrey assured fans that the shows will "definitely happen and it may be the last time we do a tour of this type, so keep those tickets, as the shows will be fantastic". Pete Townshend said the band "haven't reached this decision easily, but given the concerns about public gatherings, we couldn't go ahead".
Lost Weekend - Radio 1's Big Weekend festival has been cancelled due to coronavirus. The annual festival was due to take place in Dundee over the late May bank holiday, with Dua Lipa and Harry Styles set to headline. The decision follows advice from the Scottish government, which says events of more than 500 people should be cancelled from next week.
"It is important that we prioritise the health and safety of all those involved," Radio 1 said in a statement. "This decision has been made in conjunction with our event partners, in line with the advice from the Scottish government, and while we know fans looking forward to purchasing tickets will be disappointed, it is important that we prioritise the health and safety of all those involved."
The cancellation marks the first major British festival to be disrupted over coronavirus. Two US festivals have been affected - with Coachella being pushed back until October, and South by Southwest being cancelled.
Fingers Crossed - Glastonbury is still planning to celebrate its 50th birthday this year. Festival organisers say they are closely monitoring the situation but the festival is still going ahead. Head of event operations Adrian Coombs said they "thoroughly plan" each year's event, and "put in place all necessary measures to protect the public and maximise safety".
And when they added Kendrick Lamar, Dua Lipa, Lana Del Rey and more big names to its line-up, festival boss Emily Eavis said organisers had "fingers firmly crossed" the event would go ahead in June.
"As things stand we are still working hard to deliver our 50th anniversary festival in June and we are very proud of the bill that we have put together over the last year or so," she said. "No one has a crystal ball to see exactly where we will all be 15 weeks from now, but we are keeping our fingers firmly crossed that it will be here at Worthy Farm for the greatest show on Earth!"

(Jim Evans)
17 March 2020

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