Entertainment

Pearl Jam, Miley Cyrus and Madonna scrap gigs over coronavirus fears

Left-right: Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder, Miley Cyrus, MadonnaImage copyright Getty Images/Reuters/Ricardo Gomes/Live Nation
Image caption Left-right: Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder, Miley Cyrus and Madonna

Pop stars Miley Cyrus and Madonna and rock band Pearl Jam have called off concerts as the impact of coronavirus begins to hit live music.

Cyrus has called off a trip to Australia, where she was due to headline a bushfire benefit concert.

Two Madonna shows in Paris have been cancelled after French authorities banned large gatherings.

And Pearl Jam have postponed their US and Canada tour, saying the risk “is simply too high for our comfort level”.

Meanwhile, reports say the Coachella music festival in California will be put back to October. The most high-profile festival in the US, it was due to take place in April and be headlined by Rage Against the Machine, Travis Scott and Frank Ocean.

Miley ‘so disappointed’

The US singer had planned to fly to Melbourne to top the bill at Friday’s charity concert, but has decided to stay at home on advice from authorities “to reduce potential health risks”. The concert has now been called off.

She added: “I am so disappointed to not be there, but I have to do what is right to protect the health and safety of my band and crew.”

Madonna tour ends early

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The Queen of Pop’s shows at the 2,800-capacity Grand Rex in Paris on Tuesday and Wednesday were due to have been the last of her Madame X world tour.

But on Sunday, the French government banned gatherings of more than 1,000 people.

“It is with profound regret that we are announcing the cancellation of the last two Madame X shows,” the venue said.

Pearl Jam criticise US government response

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The grunge veterans said they were “deeply upset” to call off their 17-date North American tour, which was due to begin in Toronto on 18 March.

“We are being told that being part of large gatherings is high on the list of things to avoid as this global health crisis is now beginning to affect all of our lives,” they wrote on their website.

They also criticised the government’s response to the coronavirus outbreak in the US, where 26 people have died so far. “Having no examples of our national health department’s ability to get ahead of this, we have no reason to believe that it will be under control in the coming weeks ahead,” they said.

President Donald Trump has sought to play down the seriousness of the coronavirus outbreak and overestimate America’s preparedness, BBC North America editor Jon Sopel says.



Coachella ‘to be postponed’

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According to multiple reports, the festival, which attracts 250,000 people over two weekends, will be pushed back by six months.

The Stagecoach country music festival, which is due to be held the following weekend at the same polo club in California’s Coachella Valley, is also expected to be postponed.

It follows the cancellations of the South By Southwest festival in Texas and the Ultra Festival in Miami, Florida. The annual Winter Music Conference in Miami was also called off on Monday.

Neil Young tour announcement on hold

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The veteran Canadian rocker has said he is holding off announcing the first leg of his Crazy Horse world tour because “putting tickets on sale is questionable and needs to be thought through”.

He wrote on his website: “We are all super ready to go, and the last thing we want to do is put people at risk, especially our older audience. No-one wants to become sick in this pandemic.

“So here we are together, watching to see how it goes, how long it will last, and how many more of our planet’s people and animals will be affected.”

Kiss avoid contact

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Rock band Kiss have reportedly told fans who paid for Meet and Greets on their current US tour that they won’t get to meet the group after all.

“After many discussions with experts in the field, we have been advised to temporarily cancel these events given the reality that we do this nightly for 100 or more fans,” their manager said in a statement.

However, the concerts themselves are still going ahead as planned.

Japan cases traced to small music clubs

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Thirty-four cases have been linked to a venue called Soap Opera Classics Umeda in Osaka

Despite restrictions being placed on large gatherings in some countries, evidence suggests coronavirus has been spread in smaller crowds in Japan.

According to Reuters, 49 of the 55 cases reported in the city of Osaka by Sunday were linked to four small music venues, known as live houses.

Most of those cases were traced back to three dates in mid-February, when each performance was attended by around 100 people. Another 19 cases around the country have also been traced back to the venues.

“Can it be? The coronavirus has engulfed the underground live house scene!” said local guitar pop trio White Shadow in a blog post.

Foals video teaches hand washing

Brit Award-winning group Foals are using the video for their new single Wash Up as a public service announcement – showing the correct way to wash your hands.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-51814696

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