It’s a tough time to be a booker right now, as the spread of COVID-19 continues decimating concert calendars.
The latest high-profile local date getting the ax? The first leg of Rage Against the Machine’s highly anticipated reunion run, which included an April 28 Tacoma Dome stop, has been postponed due to concerns over the novel coronavirus. Tickets will be honored at a to-be-announced makeup date.
Earlier this week, Gov. Jay Inslee announced a moratorium on gatherings of more than 250 people through the end of March in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties, effectively wiping out the calendars for many Seattle venues.
King and Snohomish counties imposed restrictions on smaller events as well. While Inslee stated the prohibition is likely to be extended, many marquee April concerts have yet to be officially postponed. That seems likely to change.
On Thursday, concert industry power players including Live Nation and AEG — the two biggest live entertainment promoters — issued a joint statement recommending all large-scale events be postponed through the end of March. Billboard reported that Live Nation will re-evaluate its decision to pull back its tours in early April, “with the goal of resuming touring in May or June.” Celine Dion’s previously scheduled April 15 stop at Tacoma Dome was also postponed.
Pop’s Grammy-sweeping anti-hero Billie Eilish also announced a string of postponements Thursday. While her Tacoma Dome visit (April 10) is still on the books, it seems increasingly likely to be delayed.
With spread of the virus canceling or postponing several major American festivals and disrupting the concert industry, planned lineup announcements for local festivals Capitol Hill Block Party and Port Townsend’s THING have also been delayed. April’s annual Record Store Day, a vinyl-hunters’ holiday that’s a boon to music shops across the country, has been postponed until June 20.
Despite the uncertainty, an impressive number of Seattle tour dates have already been rebooked for later this summer and fall. The hope among the industry is that some of the spring cancellations could be made up for with heavier touring schedules later in the year.