As coronavirus spreads, here's what's been canceled or closed
The novel coronavirus continues to spread in the U.S., with more than 1,000 people sickened and 23 dead. Cities and states are restricting large gatherings of people, and even presidential hopefuls are canceling rallies. Here is a list of events and destinations that have been affected by the outbreak.
Organizers of the annual music festival have pushed it back by six months at the direction of health authorities.
Coachella will now take place over two weekends in October: October 9 to 11 and October 16 to 18. Its sibling festival Stagecoach, which highlights country music, will take place October 23 to 25.
Coachella draws up to a quarter-million people to Indio, California, every year. This year's lineup is set to include Frank Ocean, Rage Against the Machine, Travis Scott, Lana Del Rey and Thom Yorke.
Miami's Ultra Music Festival, which was scheduled to take place March 20 to 22, has been called off until next year, the Miami Herald reported.
Individual musicians are also calling off their tours. Pearl Jam has pushed back the North American leg of its tour, which was scheduled to start March 13 in Toronto. (Shows in Germany are still scheduled to proceed, starting June 23.)
E3, the world's biggest gaming convention, has been called off, CNET reports.
"After careful consultation with our member companies regarding the health and safety of everyone in our industry -- our fans, our employees, our exhibitors and our longtime E3 partners -- we have made the difficult decision to cancel E3 2020, scheduled for June 9 to 11 in Los Angeles," the Entertainment Software Association said in a statement.
South by Southwest
Austin mayor Steve Adler on Friday cancelled South by Southwest, the preeminent film, music and media conference that was set to begin in one week. The move comes after weeks of public pressure, during which the conference lost major attendees including Facebook, Twitter, Intel, Mashable, Netflix, Amazon and TikTok have all pulled out of the event in recent days, and more than 50,000 people had petitioned for the event to be called off.
"There was no acceptable path forward that would mitigate the risk to our community," said Dr. Mark Escott, Austin's interim health authority. He noted that the number of visitors attending SXSW and their many geographic origins would have created a crisis situation.
No cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Travis county, which houses Austin, Escott said. There are at least six cases in the Houston area, the Associated Press reports.
Cold Spring Harbor shuts campus
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory has called off all conferences and meetings set to take place on its campus on New York's Long Island for the coming month. "CSHL has canceled or postponed all upcoming scientific conferences and courses bringing participantsto campus through April 5th, and will reevaluate future offerings on a rolling basis," the lab said in a statement. The move affects at least four courses set to take place in that time period.
Real estate conferences drop
The National Association of Realtors canceled two West Coast conferences this week: the Joint AE Institute, which was to take place March 13 to 16 in San Diego, and the Realtor Broker Summit, scheduled for March 31 to April 1 in Los Angeles. The group said it is "considering alternatives" and could reschedule, relocate or redesign both conferences later in the year
World Bank, International Monetary Fund call off meetings
The 189-nation International Monetary Fund and its sister lending organization, the World Bank, announced Tuesday that they will replace their regular spring meetings in Washington with a "virtual format," the Associated Press reported.
IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva and World Bank President David Malpass issued a joint statement saying their decision was driven by "growing health concerns related to the virus." Separately, the World Bank has said it would make up to $12 billion available globally to boost countries' response to the coronavirus, the Financial Times reported.
The two global lending organizations typically hold a spring meeting in Washington, where they both have their headquarters. This year's meeting had been scheduled for the week of April 13.
Adobe canceled the in-person version of its eponymous Summit, scheduled for March 29 to April 2 in Las Vegas, the AP reported. More than 20,000 people were expected to attend the conference, which will be held as an "online experience" this year, according to the AP.
Houston energy conference canceled
A major energy conference in Houston has been called off. IHS Markit has cancelled CERAWeek 2020, an annual energy conference that was set to attract delegates from more than 80 countries to Houston starting March 9.
"We do this with deep disappointment," the organizers said in a statement, adding that their top priority was the health and safety of conference participants.
"We have spent the last several weeks focused on this question, established a medical partnership with Houston Methodist Hospital, have been in continuing dialogue with experts on infectious disease, and established an extensive protocol. But the spread of COVID-19 is moving quickly around the world."
Government calls off ASEAN summit
The Trump administration on Friday postponed a March 14 summit with the leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian nations. President Donald Trump invited ASEAN leaders to a meeting in Las Vegas after he did not attend a November summit with the group in Bangkok, Reuters reports.
Google News Initiative
Google on Friday called off its annual news conference, which would have brought together several hundred media-industry attendees in Sunnyvale, California, in late April. "We regret that we have to cancel our global Google News Initiative summit but the health and wellbeing of our guests is our number one priority," Richard Gingras, vice president of news, said in a statement.
Geneva International Auto Show
The annual Geneva International Motor Show was canceled Friday as the Swiss government put an immediate ban on all public and private events involving more than 1,000 people, CNET reports. The ban on big events is expected to last until at least March 15.
"We are aware that this measure will have a significant impact on public life," said Switzerland's interior minister, Alain Berset.
"However, the move is expected to provide effective protection to people in Switzerland and to public health," he said. "It should prevent or delay the spread of the disease in Switzerland, thus reducing its momentum."
The event, originally slated to kick off March 5, was expected to generate up to 250 million Swiss francs (or $257 million) in spending, according to the Associated Press.
Switzerland has reported 15 confirmed cases of the new coronavirus. It borders northern Italy, which has seen the largest cluster of cases in Europe. Other affected events include the traditional Carnival procession in Basel, a ski marathon and several soccer matches, according to the AP.
Concerts in Asia
K-pop group BTS, one of the most popular boy bands in the world, on Friday cancelled April tour dates in Seoul on concerns about the coronavirus. Instead of starting its world tour in Seoul, the band will hold its first show in Santa Clara, California, later in April. Fellow singers Taeyeon and NCT also dropped planned shows for Singapore.
Meanwhile, American pop-punk band Green Day postponed show dates in Asia "due to the health + travel concerns with coronavirus," the group said on Twitter. "We know it sucks, as we were looking forward to seeing you all, but hold on to your tickets we'll be announcing the new dates very soon."
Facebook F8 developer conference
Facebook called off the "in-person component" of its annual F8 developer conference, the company's biggest annual event, which typically brings thousands of software engineers to Silicon Valley. Facebook said it would replace the event with "locally hosted events, videos and live-streamed content." This year's shindig was slated to take place May 5 and 6.
Mobile World Congress
The MWC, the world's largest technology trade show, typically attracts some 100,000 people from around the world to Barcelona every February. But the conference organizers called off this year's event after high-profile attendees including Facebook and LG pulled out.
"The global concern regarding the coronavirus outbreak, travel concern and other circumstances, make it impossible for the GSMA to hold the event," the organization said in a statement on February 12. The show has been an annual event since 2006.
Disney resorts in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tokyo
The Tokyo Disney resort said this week it would close until March 15 due to the coronavirus outbreak. Disney theme parks in Shanghai have been closed since January 24 and Hong Kong Disney attractions since January 25.
Games Developer Conference
After Gearbox, Blizzard Entertainment, and other big developers announced they would not attend Games Developer Conference in March, prompting a postponement. Organizers say that GDC will still happen in summer 2020, but it is unclear whether the developers that have dropped out will still attend at a later time this year.
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