As more and more cases of coronavirus are being discovered worldwide, a growing number of big events are being cancelled or postponed, and public attractions shut down, following heath authorities' advice.
Gold Coast theme parks - incl Movie World, Dreamworld - temporarily close
Gold Coast theme parks Movie World, Sea World, and Wet’n’Wild, along with Paradise Country and Topgolf, have temporarily closed due to the coronavirus crisis.
“At Village Roadshow Theme Parks our number one priority has been and will always be the health and safety of our guests and team members,” the company said in a statement on Sunday.
“This is an extremely challenging time, and this is not a decision which was made lightly.”
It was also confirmed staff will be provided access to their accrued leave entitlements whilst they are stood down and executives salaries have also been reduced.
The theme parks are expected to remain shut until at least 31 March.
As a direct result of the Government’s most recently announced measures regarding social distancing the Board of Ardent Leisure has also made the decision to temporarily cease operating Dreamworld and WhiteWater World, effective from Monday 23 March.
“We can assure the public that we have not been notified of any confirmed cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19) at our properties. We will continue to monitor and follow advice from Government Health Authorities,” the company said in a statement.
Cannes Film Festival postponed
The world's most prestigious film festival has announced that its 2020 edition will not take place as planned in late May.
“Due to the health crisis and the development of the French and international situation, the Festival de Cannes will no longer be able to take place on the dates planned, from May 12 to 23,” organisers said on Twitter.
Organisers are still hopeful the event can go ahead in 2020, adding in the statement they were considering “several options” to hold the event, “the main one being a simple postponement...until the end of June, beginning of July 2020.”
The French and international heath situation will continue to be assessed as organisers are in ongoing consultation “with the French Government and Cannes’ City Hall as well as with the Festival's Board Members, Film industry professionals and all the partners of the event.”
Luna Park closed to the public
The iconic Luna Park amusement parks in both Sydney and Melbourne have closed their doors to the public this week, amid tightening government restrictions on mass gatherings.
In a media statement Luna Park Sydney confirmed on Thursday it would close its doors temporarily.
“In line with the Federal Government’s national response to COVID-19, Luna Park Sydney has ceased operations temporarily and is currently closed to the public,” a spokesperson said.
The company clarified the closure would not impact functions booked for the venue of less than 100 people at this stage.
Luna Park Melbourne also announced it will “not open to the public for a temporary period of two weeks”.
Eurovision 2020 cancelled
With experts predicting chaos for at least the next six months now organisers of the Eurovision Song Contest have announced the popular competition won’t be going ahead in May.
“It is with deep regret that we have to announce the cancellation of the Eurovision Song Contest 2020 in Rotterdam,” organisers said in a statement.
“Over the past few weeks we have explored many alternative options to allow the Eurovision Song Contest to go ahead. However, the uncertainty created by the spread of COVID-19 throughout Europe - and the restrictions put in place by the governments of the participating broadcasters and the Dutch authorities - means the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has taken the difficult decision that it is impossible to continue with the live event as planned.
“We would ask people to bear with us while we work through the ramifications of this unprecedented decision and patiently await any further news in the coming days and weeks.”
During the final of the country’s national selection ‘Eurovision – Australia Decides’, Australia chose Montaigne to represent them at the Eurovision Song Contest 2020. She would have sung 'Don't Break Me' in Rotterdam.
Glastonbury Festival cancelled
Likewise, the infamous Glastonbury Music Festival is also no longer going ahead, organisers announced this week.
Taylor Swift had been set to headline for the first time, with Beatles icon Paul McCartney and US rapper Kendrick Lamar also set to perform on the main stage.
The famous festival has been held at a rural farm site in southwest England since 1970, and would have had 135,000 people in attendance.
We are so sorry to announce this, but we are going to have to cancel Glastonbury 2020. Tickets for this year will roll over to next year. Full statement below and on our website. Michael & Emily pic.twitter.com/ox8kcQ0HoB
— Glastonbury Festival (@glastonbury) March 18, 2020
Splendour In The Grass postponed
Organisers of the much-loved music festival Splendour In The Grass have announced they have decided to postpone the event.
Flume, The Strokes and Tyler, The Creator had all been scheduled to play at the North Byron Parklands festival at the end of July.
Now, it’s not set to take place on Friday 23, Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 October 2020.
Groovin the Moo cancelled
Aussic music festival Groovin The Moo has been cancelled, with organisers saying they are “deeply saddened” over the news.
“This is the first time since the inaugural Groovin the Moo was held in Gloucester (NSW) in 2005 that we’re unable to bring the festival to our beloved regions across the country. The Government’s recommendations together with the uncertainty of these times makes it impossible for us to push forward with GTM this year,” they said in a statement.
“Unfortunately, GTM is unable to reschedule the 2020 events due to the uncertainty surrounding how long the ban will be in place for, along with the logistics involved with coordinating six venues across six states and territories to align with each other, and the schedules of both our National and International Artists.”
Sydney Opera House shuts down all public shows
The Sydney Opera House has announced the cancellation of all public performances, starting from today until the 29th of March.
At this stage, public areas of the site, which includes food and beverage outlets, tours and retail will continued to operate as normal.
“This is not a decision we have taken lightly but these are unprecedented events. Nothing is more important to us than the health and safety of our artists, audiences, visitors and our valued staff,” Sydney Opera House CEO Louise Herron AM said.
People with ticket to shows in the Joan Sutherland Theatre, Drama Theatre, Studio, Playhouse and Utzon Room will be contacted in the coming days to organise refunds.
Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia cancelled
It’s one of the biggest events on the fashion calendar in Australia but organisers, IMG have announced they are cancelling Fashion Week Australia., which was due to take place from May 11 to 15 at Sydney’s Carriageworks.
“Due to the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC)’s mandate against holding non-essential, organised public gatherings of more than 500 people in light of global health concerns regarding COVID-19 (coronavirus), we regret to share that Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia 2020 will not take place,” Natalie Xenita, Executive Director of IMG’s fashion events group for the Asia-Pacific region, said in a statement.
“We thank our incredible designers, producers, partners and staff for their support of the Australian fashion community and look forward to celebrating our 25th anniversary in 2021.”
MET Gala officially postponed
Earlier this month Met Gala organisers had hoped the famous event could go ahead releasing a statement at the time saying, “We are proceeding as planned and look forward to a wonderful evening”.
However now that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the US advised there be no gatherings of 50 people, the event has been officially postponed.
A Met spokesperson confirmed to Vogue: “In deference to this guidance, all programs and events through May 15 will be canceled or postponed.”
The theme for 2020 was to be 'About Time: Fashion and Duration'.
2020 Bluesfest cancelled
Legendary music festival Bluesfest will not take place over Easter this year. The event was set to feature Crowded House, Patti Smith, and Alanis Morissette.
“We are heartbroken as we believe we were presenting one of the best ever bills of talent for you,” festival director Peter Noble said.
“We are now working through how to move forward and to give you details. I thank you for allowing us enough time to get everything in place for the best possible outcome for everyone.”
It's the first time in 30 years that the event will not take place.
Las Vegas Strip resorts close
Major resorts on the Las Vegas Strip are now closing in response to the rapid spread of COVID-19.
Wynn Resorts are set to close their two casinos for two weeks from Tuesday. MGM will also cease operations on Monday and will completely close down on Tuesday.
MGM will not take new reservations prior to May 1.
CEO of MGM Resorts, Jim Murren said in a statement, "Despite our commitment to dedicating additional resources for cleaning and promoting good health, while making difficult decisions to close certain aspects of our operations, it is now apparent that this is a public health crisis that requires major collective action if we are to slow its progression."
He added, "This is a time of uncertainty across our country and the globe and we must all do our part to curtail the spread of this virus. We will plan to reopen our resorts as soon as it safe to do so and we will continue to support our employees, guests, and communities in every way that we can during this period of closure."
Wynn will re-evaluate the situation in two weeks. Some Wynn employees will stay in the hotel for security and to maintain facilities.
It is likely that more resorts will follow suit and shut down.
Vivid Sydney officially cancelled
Vivid Sydney, the popular light festival scheduled to run from 22 May to 13 June, has become the latest event to fall victim to a string of cancellations amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.
The NSW Government made the announcement on Sunday, after Prime Minister Scott Morrison advised against non-essential organised gatherings of more than 500 people.
“As the event owner, we must follow the advice of health officials to ensure the health and safety of our citizens and everyone involved with Vivid Sydney,” Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres said.
Sydney Royal Easter Show cancelled
The Sydney Royal Easter Show has been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, the first time in almost a century the show has been abandoned.
“This is the first time the Sydney Royal Easter Show has been cancelled because of a public health emergency since the Spanish flu pandemic in 1919,” Royal Agricultural Society (RAS) president Robert Ryan said.
The show was due to begin on April 3 and more than 800,000 people were expected to attend the 12-day event. In a statement on its website, the RAS said the decision was made “for the safety and wellbeing of our patrons and visitors”.
Cruise lines pause operations
Major cruise lines P&O Australia, Carnival and Cruise & Maritime Voyages have all paused operations for a month after the government warned against gatherings of more than 500 people.
P&O’s suspension of operations will start tonight and last until April 12. All of the company’s ships will be affected. In Brisbane, the Pacific Dawn’s cruise – scheduled to depart today – will not go ahead. The Pacific Aria, which is on a cruise to Tasmania, will instead return to Adelaide on Monday.
“At the same time, we are acutely aware of the disappointment for our guests whose cruise holidays have been unavoidably cut short or cancelled at short notice,” President of P&O Cruises Australia, Sture Myrmell said.
“Cancelling or reducing the length of a cruise is the last thing we would ever want to do but these are extraordinary times and we have no hesitation in putting the health and well-being of our guests, crew and the wider community first.”
Carnival’s suspension will start on Sunday and last until April 13. Its two ships at sea will complete their voyages and return to Sydney as scheduled.
Cruise & Maritime Voyages on Saturday announced the “temporary suspension of all worldwide cruise operations for embarkations taking place from today for six weeks” until April 24.
Theme parks shut down
Disneyland and Disney California Adventure will close Saturday morning through the end of the month
“While there have been no reported cases of COVID-19 at Disneyland Resort, after carefully reviewing the guidelines of the governor of California’s executive order and in the best interest of our guests and employees, we are proceeding with the closure of Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure, beginning the morning of March 14 through the end of the month,” Walt Disney Co. wrote in a statement Thursday afternoon.
“The hotels of Disneyland Resort will remain open until Monday, March 16, to give guests the ability to make necessary travel arrangements; Downtown Disney will remain open. We will monitor the ongoing situation and follow the advice and guidance of federal and state officials and health agencies. Disney will continue to pay cast members during this time.”
Breaking: Disneyland will close. Here's the statement from the Walt Disney Co. pic.twitter.com/6ezTMXCd11
— Daniel Miller (@DanielNMiller) March 12, 2020
Disneyland in Shanghai has been closed since late January, while Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea shut down from February 29 to March 15.
Walt Disney World in Orlando Florida will also be closed for a month.
Universal Studios Japan has been closed since February and will assess the situation before giving a re-opening date. Universal Studios in Hollywood is following suit and also shutting its doors.
Coachella officially postponed
Coachella has officially confirmed they are rescheduling, sharing a statement on Twitter that reads, "At the direction of the County of Riverside and local health authorities, we must sadly confirm the rescheduling of Coachella and Stagecoach due to COVID-19 concerns.
"While this decision comes at a time of universal uncertainty, we take the safety and health of our guests, staff and community very seriously. We urge everyone to follow the guidelines and protocols put forth by public health officials.
"Coachella will now take place on October 9, 10, and 11 and October 16, 17 and 18, 2020... All purchases for the April dates will be honoured for the rescheduled October dates. Purchasers will be notified by Friday, March 13 on how to obtain a refund if they are unable to attend."
Rage Against the Machine, Frank Ocean, Travis Scott and Lana Del Ray were among the many performers who were set to take the stage in April.
Musicians cancel concerts and tours
Miley Cyrus announced she has withdrawn from a bushfire relief concert in Melbourne, only three days before she was due to take to the stage.
Taking to Twitter, the 27-year-old wrote, “Due to the recommendations of local, state, federal and international government authorities, including the Center for Disease Control, to reduce potential health risks in response to the current global health crisis, we are no longer travelling to [Australia] for the show."
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. I will still be making a donation to help the victims of the Australian bush fire. I’m sorry to miss everyone in Australia, but I will be back soon."
Country-rap star Lil Was X, The Veronicas, and DJ Seb Fontaine were set to join Miley for the performance.
TEG Dainty who have organised the event have confirmed fans will receive refunds.
“We are very sad that Miley Cyrus has announced that she will not be travelling to Melbourne and that as a result the World Tour Bushfire Relief concert at Lakeside Stadium on Friday 13 March can no longer go ahead," they said on Twitter.
"All fans will receive a full refund and will be contacted by Ticketek shortly."
The Jonas Brothers became the latest musicians to pump the brakes on touring, announcing Friday the cancellation of their Las Vegas residency in April.
Celine Dion also announced on Twitter Thursday that the remainder of the North American leg of her Courage World Tour, from March 24 to April 27, would be suspended.
Tasmania's Dark Mofo cancelled
Tasmania's internationally popular festival, Dark Mofo, has been cancelled over coronavirus fears.
Festival organiser and art collector David Walsh took to Facebook to announce the news, saying he was "killing Dark Mofo for the year".
The statement read, "We’re killing Dark Mofo for the year. I know that will murder an already massacred tourism environment, but I feel like I have no choice (hint: that means I have a choice)."
He explained that he made the decision to cancel the event for fear of losing "$5 million or more" in lost ticket sales and paying the artists involved in the festival.
"Here’s my correlated outcome. COVID-19 might jeopardise my income if we run Dark Mofo," he wrote.
"It’s likely that nothing will happen. June will roll up, COVID-19 will die down, and I’ll look (more) like a fool for having cancelled. But that’s the best thing that could happen. The worst thing that could happen is not me trashing my cash.
"We could soldier on, without consideration or advantage, have the crowd turn up anyway, and send them home sick. But that wouldn’t be the worst thing, either. Worse than that, for me at least, would be proceeding with Dark Mofo and having it fail, and thus having it become the final Dark Mofo."
"So we’ll see you next year. Assuming, that is, another black swan doesn’t cause another white elephant."
Movie releases delayed
The latest James Bond movie, No Time To Die, had been scheduled for release in April and has now been pushed back to November.
Other films and TV shows have also suffered with Peter Rabbit 2 being pushed from a late March release to August 7.
Mission: Impossible 7 was scheduled to shoot in Venice, Italy for three weeks, but it has been postponed following the local government's stop to all public gatherings.
Shows such as Dr Phil will not shoot in front of a live studio audience for the foreseeable future.
The Amazing Race postponed shooting its 33rd season, which had already filmed episodes in England and Scotland.
Disney’s Mulan has also pushed back its release date, along with the latest instalment in the Fast & Furious franchise F9.
The Batman, director Matt Reeves' film starring Robert Pattinson as the caped crusader, postponed production on Saturday.
NBC Universal, Disney, Warner Bros. and CBS halt productions on shows including 'Grey's Anatomy'.
Jimmy Fallon, Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel and Seth Meyers are all benched, at least until March 30, after airing audience-free episodes on Thursday. Plans changed amid heightened scrutiny of large auditorium crowds. Ellen has also revealed she will pause production on her show.
St Patrick’s Day parades halted
Prime Minister Leo Varadkar announced on Wednesday that all St Patrick’s Day parades across Ireland have been cancelled in an effort to slow down the spread of coronavirus.
The annual March 17 parade in Dublin is one of Ireland's biggest tourist events, and typically draws half a million people onto the city's streets.
Tens of thousands more flock to parades in Ireland's second-largest city, Cork, and smaller communities.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced yesterday that the city’s St. Patrick’s Day parade and the annual dying the river free has also been postponed due to coronavirus.
Tokyo Olympics up in the air
It's possible that due to coronavirus, the 2020 Olympics could be pushed back from July to later in the year.
The decision is in the hands of the International Olympic Committee and one member believes it's highly likely the Games will be pushed back or cancelled entirely.
Former Canadian swimmer Dick Pound, the IOC's longest-serving member told the Associated Press the decision will likely come in May.
"In and around that time [late May], I'd say folks are going to have to ask: 'Is this under sufficient control that we can be confident about going to Tokyo or not?'"
He added that it would be difficult to simply postpone or move locations, "You just don't postpone something on the size and scale of the Olympics."
"There's so many moving parts, so many countries and different seasons, and competitive seasons, and television seasons. You can't just say, 'We'll do it in October.'"
Moving the Games to another city would be almost impossible "because there are few places in the world that could think of gearing up facilities in that short time to put something on."
Pound added, "All indications are at this stage that it will be business as usual."
Indian Wells Masters no longer going ahead
While it might be too early to make a call on the French Open or Wimbledon which take place mid-year, the Indian Wells Masters, the biggest event outside the four majors, has been cancelled amid the coronavirus panic.
You probably all heard the news. Indian Wells cancelled. We are here and still deciding what’s next. So sad for all that is happening around the world with this situation. Hopefully soon solutions from the authorities. Stay all well and safe.
— Rafa Nadal (@RafaelNadal) March 9, 2020
It's likely that matches will be cancelled in Monte Carlo, Madrid, Barcelona and Rome in the lead up to the French Open.
Italy's pro soccer league halts play completely
Italy's pro soccer league Serie A halted play mid-season following a decree by Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte on March 9.
The Italian Olympic Committee oversees all sport in the country and has revealed they will not play again until at least April 3.
South by Southwest cancelled
The 34th annual South by Southwest festival was cancelled after tech companies including Apple, Facebook, Twitter and TikTok withdrew.
The music, tech and film festival was meant to kick off on March 13 and continue through to March 22. Events were scheduled at a convention centre as well as bars and event spaces throughout Austin, Texas.
Major conferences cancelled
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has cancelled the Festival of Australia business week in Chine due to the spread of coronavirus.
It comes as software giant Atlassian cancelled its major annual developer conference in Las Vegas. Approximately 5,000 people were set to attend, however, it will now be a "remote summit".
Google has also cancelled its biggest event of the year, the Google I/O Developer conference which was meant to kick off in May at Google's Moutainview headquarters.
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission have also announced their Annual Forum and Annual Dinner have been cancelled.
In a statement they said, "Due to the uncertain availability of international and interstate speakers and delegates and the evolving situation surrounding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), we have made the difficult decision to postpone the ASIC Annual Forum and Annual Dinner 2020."
"We understand the difficulties some people may face in travelling to Sydney for this event. Like previous years, ASIC is committed to delivering a wide-ranging and high-quality event and program for all participants."
ASIC is looking to reschedule the Annual Forum and Annual Dinner.
The cancellations come as gyms around the country stop members from high fiving each other.
Sydney-based F45-er, Katie Cunningham took to Twitter to reveal the gym has banned high fives.
Mine too. Now doing weird elbow thing & waves
— Marc Fennell (@MarcFennell) March 9, 2020
Speaking to Pedestrian.TV, Katie said, "I think they said, ‘You guys can still high five each other if you want,'" she said.
“They just mentioned that, class started, and then we just didn’t high five at the end.”
However, one F45 trainer from Sydney CBD told the publication, "No, it hasn't affected us at all... High fives all around."
“We have extra sanitary options, like hand sanitiser, [cleaning] wipes, extra kinds of cleaning protocols. It’s not like it’s an unknown thing that’s happening in the community,” they said.
They added, "It's totally safe to continue training."
With extra reporting by AAP
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