COVID-19 and concert attendance
How is the concern over COVID-19 affecting concert attendance and the financial health of music performers (if at all)?
Are you making any changes to your concert attendance or performance as a result of such concerns?
I guess that there might be accidental benefits - more space at concerts, fewer people coughing (well one can dream), and a greater focus of the die-hards as opposed to the more casual attendees.
And although there be some financial protection due to early sales and limited refund policies by venues, I would guess that that would be limited and temporary, and that some of the harm might be felt in the future, when consumers remember that they couldn't get refunds previously and are less likely to commit to attendance in advance.
But that's just my guessing. Does anyone here have more information on this? Or is positivity holding, at least so far?
I think that in the West it's too soon to say.
I am very concerned about the potential implications for my orchestra, but it's impossible to know right now how the next few months will play out (pun intended).
Much to be decided soon. The Brits are remarkably calm about all this, but I am off to hear the Faure Requiem in Oxford— a pretty hot ticket, so turnout might say something.
San Francisco Symphony is shutting down for a month. That's a lot of money involved.
Here's one list of major classical cancellations to date:
They canceled all performances in Slovenia until further notice today.
Yikes. Well the Sheldonian was more or less sold out, and is getting pretty full with 10 minutes to go.
The Brits are not calm - they are complacent and stupid.
Some Brits are panic buying loo roll, some are not worried at all. Our government, well, they haven’t done much, just telling us to wash hands.
Talked with a senior civil servant this evening— her reminder is that if you’re not already sick with something else or stuck with a weak immune system, the risks are not high at all. Infection, perhaps. Death, no.
Never mind the audiences. If the virus becomes more widespread, then the brass and woodwind blasting out aerosols all over the orchestra won't be very welcome! Most amateur orchestras will stop rehearsing completely.
The OP's question had to do with concert attendance and the financial health of performers.
My community orchestra just played our spring concert this past week. There was no visible change in attendance.
I think it's more than a possibility that there'll be major economic disruption. Actually, there already is but perhaps not yet with audiences.
Perhaps even just self-inflicted economic disruption.
Which way should you turn when you're in completely uncharted territory? We think we ought to do something but we don't know what, and doing nothing (differently) will at least minimise collateral effects due to the law of unintended consequences. I think I'll just try to keep calm and carry on fiddling while Rome is in shutdown.
Its 20 times more deadly than the flu, the idea that it is no worse than the flu is right wing propaganda.
Has every piece of incorrect information got to be a conspiracy? Covid-19 does seem to be deadlier than flu but by how much is uncertain
Part of my point was that there is no such thing as "flu" - there are different strains of the influenza virus.
While we all need to keep calm and carry on, with appropriate precautions, it's very irresponsible to say Covid-19 is just like the 'flu. The best estimate for the case fatality rate is 1-2% and considerably higher in the over 50s or if you have a pre-existing medical condition like hypertension, asthma or diabetes (relatively common conditions in the over 60s).
One can reasonably assume there are a lot more cases than those that are medically confirmed, especially in places without massive testing. Some put it at 10 times more. If true, the fatality rate is significantly lower, perhaps at 0.2%!
On the flip side, there are those with incentives to keep reported infections low. A colleague of mine with connections in China says it would be best to multiply official figures from there by 20-- all of them. Journalists are being forbidden to share stories on what they know.
"Some put it at 10 times more. If true, the fatality rate is significantly lower, perhaps at 0.2%"
I'm especially concerned that orchestra audiences are at great risk because the average age of the attendee is probably at least 60. So in the short term, cancellation of orchestra concerts is probably at the top of the list in terms of protecting the most vulnerable among us. I fear there is another possible outcome that will impact professional orchestras in the longer term: Many of their subscription members and most loyal donors are folks in at-risk age groups. This is why orchestras that are able to think more long-term (and I know some just aren't) should focus on the estates of their donors in addition to in-time donations. I get a brochure every year from my alma mater about "estate planning" with them in mind.
While that's logically sound, the last thing I'd want to ask a long-term supporter for, especially in a context of a risk that they might be more exposed to as a consequence of supporting, for them to give "us" their money when they're gone - because it appears to value their death more than their life. To the contrary, I'd thank them for their continued support, and be very grateful if they thought to continued that on their own accord afterwards.
A possible link between air pollution and lung damage might be good news from the standpoint of having potentially less harm (though not less risk of infection) in areas/people with less lung damage.
I saw a nice statement the other day to the effect that the internet's (self-declared) Constitutional experts have now transitioned to become today's (self-declared) disease transmission experts. This thread appears to be an example. I'll stick with what the real experts are saying, thanks.
I agree with Michael that having a bunch of violinists arguing about fatality rates is kind of pointless. On the other hand, if all the expert advice has to be filtered through a man who thought needle-exchange was a bad idea in the midst of an AIDS epidemic (others having been barred from talking to the media), then you wonder whether any source of information is better than any other.
One more factoid: Harvard is suspending nonessential gatherings on their campus through April. That effectively cancels concerts held at Sanders Theater.
It may not be a matter of concert goers staying home by choice; their city/county/state may start restricting gatherings over a certain size. In that case, orchestras, theatres, etc. will have to rethink how they reach their audience.
Sent from the afterlife from my iPhone.
Swine Flu lasted maybe 18 months.
It would be a great way to drop global greenhouse gas emissions. Every sneeze has a silver lining!
As someone living in a country which is under lockdown, I can say a few things.
but Trump said it was just like flu, it's not like he would lie about something like that, is it?????
My parents are in their late 80s. Just about everyone in that age group has at least three "pre-existing conditions." The 80+ crowd has no choice but to isolate themselves to the extent possible. Even medical visits for other ailments have to be postponed or cancelled.
Lyndon, fake news. :-)
Living in a place where I'm sure it's pretty rampant (LA), the current concern is overwhelming the health system (one of my student's parents is on the front lines for this). You may be young and not worried about it, but there will be people who contract the virus who need hospitalization and special care. If 300 people have it and 50 need care and nine people die, that is one set of numbers. But if 30,000 people have it all at once, 5,000 suddenly need special care, 900 die - you see the problem. So a very big concern now is just slowing it down so it doesn't overwhelm the medical system. In the U.S. we missed the containment window - just didn't test people, so now it's spreading in communities.
David, given that your politics are bordering on fascist, I wouldn't take your concepts of fake news as anything other than misinformed propaganda!!
Influenza kills by making people more susceptible to pneumonia.
It looks like the state of Washington is set to announce an emergency ban on all gatherings of more than 250 people in three counties. In California, Santa Clara County has now announced that gatherings of over 1,000 people are prohibited until the end of the month.
The problem with treating COVID-19 and flu the same way is that we know we're having a "flu season" every year so basically we just get our shots and go our merry way. If we get sick,
Now my old youth orchestra's gala (Saturday) is going online as a virtual celebration. Probably a streamed concert and electronic auction. Plus ordered-in wine and dinner?
Saves you having to have your slacks pressed.
My school’s orchestra is also considering holding off a performance of Tchaikovsky serenade for strings and Mozart Requiem. This is very disappointing since they are fun. Many schools around my district are also closing due to this inconvenience. We might be next!
Results otherwise mixed around Boston. The Symphony is apparently still performing, even if smaller groups are cancelling or postponing their events.
It's official: Governor Inslee has announced that gatherings of more than 250 people are banned in King, Snohomish, and Pierce Counties (the entire Seattle-Tacoma metropolitan area) through the end of the month.
Benaroya Hall (Seattle) has canceled all events through March 31st. The music school where I take lessons has closed through the 26th. Seattle public schools are all closed for at least the next 14 days. I work at a university where every class possible is being held via videoconference, and most staff are telecommuting. What excitement for everyone.
Back in 2009, when the U.S. was experiencing an economic recession, companies placed a freeze on traveling as part of their cost cutting measure. Thus, both hotel and airline industries were seeing red numbers in their revenue.
CSU Sacramento just canceled all public events for the rest of the school year. Their orchestra will play all scheduled concerts, but without a live audience; concerts will instead be presented by video stream.
UC Davis, the other large university in the area, has canceled or postponed public events through the end of the month --
Some first hand info from doctor friends in neighboring Italy:
And this is why it's important to take whatever steps are necessary to "flatten the curve." At this point it appears inevitable that 40 to 80 percent of the world's population will be infected at some point. If everyone is infected at once, we get the crisis that is taking place in Italy. If infections are spread out over a longer period of time, then there is enough hospital capacity to save more people.
In an area where the virus breaks out, close everything, quarantine everyone, assure only vital services, for 2 weeks. That's the only way to flatten the curve. It worked in Wuhan, it worked in the first area of outbreak in Italy (no more infections being reported).
Slovenia is the second EU country which will (in a couple of minutes) officially call all out epidemic (first being Italy).
Here is an informative article from the NY Times:
For those who like numbers and statistics, I found this site helpful about the growth of the virus. It's updated every few minutes. Be careful though, it can be addicting! :)
Now the Boston Symphony is closing for the rest of the month.
The province of Quebec in Canada has banned all indoor events of more than 250 people.
Carnegie Hall has cancelled all events for at least the rest of the month.
Today my orchestra announced the cancellation of this weekend's concert.
Here's one for the statisticians amongst us (is there any?). If 20 of the croud attending a concert has COVID, and the total numbers of attendees is 1000, and the chances of catching the bug from someone 2 rows away from you in any direction is reduced by 80% what is the chance of catching the bug?
Depends whether infectiousness drops continuously or in a single step, I think.
Here in Belgium all cultural events have been canceled, for the moment until April 3th...
In Indianapolis all events drawing more than 250 people have been canceled until April, that includes several performances of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and the Laurate series from the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis. All local school districts have also been closed, and I'm working from home starting Monday
Here in Chicago CSO just canceled all concerts for the next month on the governor's orders. My youngest kid's youth orchestra (CYSO) has canceled everything -- they are all crammed together into one not-quite-big-enough room for rehearsals, so it is really necessary. So far, my son's precollege program, which is only about 25 kids, is still going, but Mrs. Vamos has canceled workshops (studio class) and is giving Skype lessons.