More stuff to worry about

Copied from Facebook.

I know everyone’s industry is affected, but here are some not so fun facts on the live entertainment industry:

  • Legendary New York Metropolitan Opera has just announced its closure until September 2021. Their musicians, choirs, stage techs, etc, along with the rest of the industry have been without pay since last April.
  • The New York Philharmonic has cancelled until fall 2021.
  • Broadway is closed until mid-2021
  • Cirque du Soleil went bankrupt and cut over 3500 jobs.
  • Feld Entertainment (family tours – Disney on Ice, Monster Jam, circus, etc) has permanently fired 90% of their workforce.
  • Live Nation and other concert promoters have laid off a majority of their employees.
  • Talent agencies who plan & book concerts, appearances, festivals, etc have laid off over half their employees.
  • Cruise boat artists are unemployed and amusement park productions have no idea when they will be rehired.
  • There are no concerts, festivals, or tours scheduled until 2021 and if they don’t perform next year they are likely to go bankrupt & may never happen again. No Jazz Festival, no Coachella, no Bonnaroo, no EDC, no Glastonbury, no tours, no ballet, no opera…. it’s all gone.
  • It is predicted that 90% of independent music rooms could close if this continues.
  • Artistic and musical organizations of all kinds – choirs, theaters, orchestras, dance companies, festivals, music rooms, not to mention all technical and independent suppliers – all are trying to find alternatives to succeed in working.
  • Over 12,000,000 people work in entertainment production, we are not insignificant and this industry can’t reopen until mass gatherings are allowed. This doesn’t include the additional dismissal of techs and openers, maintenance staff for bar rooms and staff, safety and thousands of vendors.

So when you see your entertainment friends begging you to wear masks and stay home, understand that we are watching, helplessly, our industry collapse before our eyes because not enough people care about taking the necessary means to reduce the spread. This is personal to us, our whole livelihood depends on social solidarity and we will not accept to be labeled ‘non-essentials’.
Music & Arts are necessary for a happy and balanced society.
Everyone’s career and industry is indefinitely pending. PLEASE wear your mask (on your mouth AND nose) and wash your hands!

Impressive for a virus that doesn’t exist and is, simultaneously, just a form of the flu.


  1. DonDueed says

    It’s a bloodbath. I had tickets for two concert tours, originally scheduled over the summer. One was postponed twice and is now penciled in for August 2021. The other is on indefinite hold. I have not received or been offered a refund on either of those tickets.

    The only people still performing are YouTubers, like my favorite Sina-Drums. They do remarkable virtual collaborations (and have been doing so for years, so they’re very good at it). But it’s not live music, and I really miss that.

  2. says

    BandCamp is a music website that has been doing a thing on the first fridays of the month where they waive their share of the sale of any music, letting the artists have a bigger cut. The artists there tend to be more indie, but I’m sure there are some most people have heard of. It’s worth a look.

  3. says

    Some jackass yesterday tried to tell me that COVID wasn’t as dangerous as the 1918 flu and shutting down the economy was going to kill more people. Typical Republican talking points these days. Sure COVID has a 99% survival rate among most patients, but even at 1% mortality that’s 3.2MILLION dead people in the US alone. That’s how math works people.

  4. stwriley says

    It’s another in the now long line of preventable disasters caused by the failure of Trump and the entire GOP to do the most basic and common sense things to respond to a pandemic. Meanwhile, in New Zealand, theaters and music venues are open, mass gatherings can take place, and the infection rate is effectively zero. That’s because they took the necessary steps immediately and use the power of government (and a free, democratic government at that) to take the steps that would ensure the pandemic had limited effect on their society. And yet, we can’t just blame Trump and the Republicans, because this was a failure of the American people generally. Now we’ll have to live with the diminishment of our arts, culture, and society as a result.

  5. raven says

    The Covid-19 pandemic has stolen our lives, our health (long haulers), our jobs, our social lives, and…our arts and entertainment.
    It is one huge, long natural catastrophe.

    I had tickets to a legacy rock show that I got in late February.
    Yeah, legacy rock show, old guys from the 1970’s playing. Who cares, right. They are only still very, very good.
    To give you an idea of how popular this show was, tickets went on sale at midnight with no advertising. They were all sold out at 1:00 AM. I was very lucky to get two tickets.
    Then the show for early April was canceled in mid-March.
    Am I ever going to see this group again? Unlikely. They are all in the late 70’s.

  6. raven says

    Some jackass yesterday tried to tell me that COVID wasn’t as dangerous as the 1918 flu …

    He has no idea what he is talking about.
    The 1918 flu was very dangerous and killed 50 million people at a time when the world’s population was 1.8 billion.

    The morons usually compare it to the current flu and get that wrong too. The Covid-19 virus is at least 10 times as deadly as seasonal flu.

    “Social Influencer Dmitriy Stuzhuk Dead Of Coronavirus After Telling Followers It Wasn’t Real” A common story these days. This guy was a young fitness coach.

  7. HidariMak says

    PZ, the superspreader-in-chief was (supposedly) only diagnosed 17 days ago. It has another few weeks for tRump to have to take it more seriously. And IIRC, the second two weeks are typically worse than the first two. Just something to hope for as election day looms nearer.

  8. mikey says

    Brewer here. Us little guys that rely on taproom sales are getting wiped out. Packaging breweries are managing better. Any chance I get I tell anyone who’ll listen (and the ones who won’t) This. Did. Not. Have. To. Happen.

  9. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    It’s not only entertainment, but also volunteer work. Prior to the lockdown, I was driving a Sr. Citizen to a medical appointment almost on a weekly basis. Since things have opened up, I haven’t gone back. Too many assholes in the grocery stores not wearing their masks properly–below their nose, or pulling them down to talk. So I increased my donations to cover at least one drive per month in a properly protected vehicle. I should be able to do more next year due to my age.

  10. John Morales says

    Ah well.

    Music & Arts are necessary for a happy and balanced society.

    I doubt that very much. And anyway, it’s not all music and arts, is it?

    There’s nothing stopping people from singing or playing instruments or doing whatever arty stuff — it’s just the stuff with mass gatherings (“this industry can’t reopen until mass gatherings are allowed”) that’s affected.

    Definitely not something I worry about.

  11. raven says

    Stevie Nicks: Coronavirus is stealing my last youthful years › article › stevie-nicks-coron…

    Oct 9, 2020 — Stevie Nicks says the coronavirus pandemic is “stealing” her “last youthful years”. The Fleetwood Mac singer – who turned 72 this year – is …

    Stevie Nicks recently said that the Covid-19 pandemic is stealing her last youthful years. She is 72, after all.

    I know the feeling exactly.
    My big thing in the summer is going to a lot of outdoor music festivals and rock concerts. The west coast is a good place for this.
    Last summer I went to quite a few and they were all good.
    This summer I went to zero concerts, outdoors or not.

    And I’m a Boomer, not as old as Stevie Nicks but close.
    Just how many more summers do I have to go out dancing all day and night?
    Who knows, but not enough to count on anything.

  12. hillaryrettig says

    Imagine working hard your whole life, finally succeeding at a really tough career – so you’re on Broadway, in an orchestra, etc. – and then the whole thing comes crashing down. Horrifying.

  13. numerobis says

    hillaryrettig: a YouTuber pilot I somewhat follow worked hard her whole life and got her promotion to Captain and got laid off a couple weeks later. It’ll be another year or two before she can work again.

  14. numerobis says

    Cirque du Soleil was already in dire financial straits before COVID hit. Lots of competition in the circus arts. Of course, all those competitors are screwed as well.

  15. wzrd1 says

    @Ray Ceeya, it’s even uglier. If only 1% survive as long haulers or with various disabilities, that’s a hell of a lot of disabled people who are incapable of work.
    Given that the labor force in the US is 164.6 million persons, that’s still a sizable number and worse is, once the hospital systems become totally saturated, those who could be stabilized until they recovered enough to return home in a week or two get no treatment and a significant number will die from insufficient respiratory gas exchange.

  16. says

    @15 wzrd1
    Agreed. If we follow the stupid brigade’s plan we’re doing generations worth of harm and pain for ourselves. Why are conservatives completely blind to the future?

  17. vucodlak says

    To have a hope of repairing the damage Donald Trump and his virus have done to our economy would require extensive New Deal style programs combined with Teddy Roosevelt style trust-busting to break up the propaganda organs that have ravaged the national psyche. Setting up some system of fining the crap out of Fox News, OANN, and, while we’re at it, the mainstream media for spreading deliberate misinformation would be a good start on the latter. Perhaps we could invest the income from those fines in the arts.

    Ah well, it’s nice to dream. The next administration will probably spend all it’s time trying to deal with the massive internal enemy occupation that is white nationalism. Even if we dislodge the parasite in chief, we’re looking down the barrel of at least four years of severe white supremacist terrorism.

    I’m really hoping that Joe Biden turns out to be considerably more effective than all the evidence points to him being, but I’m not very optimistic.

  18. John Morales says


    To have a hope of repairing the damage Donald Trump and his virus have done to our economy […]

    You should be aware that you’re doing precisely the same thing as Trump does when he calls it the Wuhan/China virus when you call it “his virus”.

    (It detracts from your message)

  19. chigau (違う) says

    Ray Ceeya #20
    John Morales has been around Pharyngula long enough to know that coming from me
    “bless your heart” is equivalent to “go fuck yourself” and
    “have a nice day” is equivalent to “go fuck yourself”

  20. says

    Pretty sure I remember when Pharyngula was on Blogspot. PZ and Phil Plait’s Bad Astronomy were the first two site I’d visit every day.

  21. rydan says

    Not sure I understand the conclusion. All of this impact happens regardless of the existence of the virus. It isn’t the virus that has ended these jobs and businesses but rather the way we have responded to it. The virus can still exist and we could have still saved these industries if we simply are OK with the cost of that. Last I heard Democrats aren’t OK with millions of dead bodies on the streets.

  22. rydan says

    @ 24

    Literally the only two sites I read back in 2008. Also lost my job shortly afterwards likely because I spent too much time at work on these sites. That and Bush destroyed the economy.

  23. vucodlak says

    @ John Morales, #18

    You should be aware that you’re doing precisely the same thing as Trump does when he calls it the Wuhan/China virus when you call it “his virus”.

    Despite Donald Trump’s attempts to claim l’état, c’est moi he is not, in fact, an entire nation, or even a city. Thus, even if I am libeling him in some way by calling it “his virus,” I am not smearing millions of innocent people who have nothing to do with the spread of Covid-19, nor am I stoking racial hatred. So no, I’m not “doing precisely the same thing as Trump.”

    I am not, however, just smearing the man for shits and giggles. Without Trump’s colossal, malignant incompetence, Covid-19 might not have become a pandemic at all. It almost certainly would have killed far fewer people.

    Trump deliberately spreads misinformation about the virus. He discourages measures to prevent the transmission of the virus. He holds up aid to many hotspots, because they don’t sufficiently kiss his ass. He encourages his rabid worshipers to violently resist efforts made, by more competent local authorities, to manage the virus. Perhaps worst of all, he personally does his utmost to maim and kill as many as possible with his mostly-maskless superspreader hate rallies.

    So my conscience is just fine with my labeling Covid-19 the Donald John Trump Plague because, as with so many things: Trump didn’t invent Covid-19, he just slapped on his own personal brand of shitshow and made it so much worse. If my language should happen to encourage anyone to hate Donald J. Trump, well, my conscience can probably bear that, too. And lastly, should ill befall the man because someone blames him for killing grandpa, I promise I’ll chip in for a special memorial for him.

    The kind with a low-flow flush. It’s what he would have wanted.

  24. says

    Ray Ceeya (#3) –

    Imagine if cell phone service or internet connections had 1% down time daily. Those “1% is nothing!” types would be firing guns at companies for inconveniencing them 14 1/2 minutes every day.

  25. microraptor says

    I was talking with my sister yesterday, who’s a doctor. She said that in her city, hospitals are officially at about 50% capacity based on bed space and number of ventilators, but they currently have so many doctors, nurses, and other medical staff who are out due to Covid infection that they’re really out of space and at serious risk of having to start turning people away.

  26. Loree says

    @2 Great American Satan
    Both of my daughter’s bands (she plays bass) are on Band Camp.

    BandCamp is a music website that has been doing a thing on the first fridays of the month where they waive their share of the sale of any music, letting the artists have a bigger cut. The artists there tend to be more indie, but I’m sure there are some most people have heard of. It’s worth a look.

    The Grizzled Mighty is a straight ahead guitar heavy power rock trio. They have done a few socially distanced and virtual concerts in the past month, but had to cancel their European tour this past summer. The income from the band is the singer/songwriter/lead guitarist’s main source of income and he’s hurting.

    The Golden Idols is an indie pop/rock band featuring macabre/surreal lyrics set to bouncy 60s-80s style pop tunes. They haven’t performed since February, but they all have decent day jobs in Seattle area tech companies, so they aren’t hurting financially.

    Both are on You tube and Spotify as well.

  27. mailliw says

    @2 Great American Satan

    At Bandcamp the artist usually gets 85% of the money. There are some great jazz artists on there like Mary Halvorson and David Krakauer.

    You can also pay more than the asking price if you want to make a larger contribution to the artist. Thanks for the tip about the first Friday of the month, I will try and remember that.

  28. epawtows says

    A lot of MAGA heads seem to be getting the 1918 flu mixed up with normal flu. The 1918 one DID force cities and whole countries into lockdown, and a lot of what we think of as ‘public health’ is from the response to it. Heck, the whole concept of saying or thinking to ‘cover your mouth when you cough’ is from then.

  29. numerobis says

    rydan: we could respond in a way that keeps the cultural sector financially afloat — most of the world has done a better job at this than the US has, of course — but it would still be affected in terms of career development.

    The only solution is to wipe out the virus. But the US is steadfast in refusing to do that.

  30. John Morales says

    numerobis, pretty sure streaming and online services have done pretty well out of this.

    (As I noted above, it’s mass participation events that are affected; nothing stops people from watching movies or listening to music etc)

    In passing, I notice YouTube has now gotten to the point where ads abound (even PZ’s videos are monetised). I don’t want to pay for it, so I hardly use it any more. Ah well.

  31. Jazzlet says

    One of my neices had the tour of her show about her strange childhood due to start as lockdown hit in the UK, apparently the show is very funny, unless you know the full story when it is also heartbreaking. She may now not get that boost to her career, and she got COVID-19 with it looking like she’ll be a long hauler :-(

  32. says

    @35 John Morales

    Nice of you to notice that the technology corporations and middlemen are doing fine.

    You are okay, then, with all the actual ARTISTS rapidly not having work, not to mention the many whose careers ARE the in-person events?

    If this is not your position, that the performers are irrelevant as long as recordings supply the audiences, then I advise you to rethink your communication because you have strongly implied exactly that by handwaving numerobis’s points.

  33. John Morales says


    No, not “the arts”, but a specific portion as quoted in the OP: “the live entertainment industry”. You know, where many many people gather together.

    (And not “useless”, but rather not needful; not the same claim at all)

  34. says

    I saw a promotion yesterday, The Damned planning a reunion tour with the original four members: Dave Vanian, Brian James, Captain Sensible and Rat Scabies.

    In July 2021. They begin selling tickets this weekend.