Pearl Jam, Miley Cyrus and Madonna scrap gigs over coronavirus fears

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Getty Images/Reuters/Ricardo Gomes/Live Nation

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Left-right: Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder, Miley Cyrus and Madonna

Pop stars Miley Cyrus and Madonna and rock band Pearl Jam have called off concerts as the impact of coronavirus begins to hit live music.

Cyrus has called off a trip to Australia, where she was due to headline a bushfire benefit concert.

Two Madonna shows in Paris have been cancelled after French authorities banned large gatherings.

And Pearl Jam have postponed their US and Canada tour, saying the risk “is simply too high for our comfort level”.

Meanwhile, reports say the Coachella music festival in California will be put back to October. The most high-profile festival in the US, it was due to take place in April and be headlined by Rage Against the Machine, Travis Scott and Frank Ocean.

Miley ‘so disappointed’

The US singer had planned to fly to Melbourne to top the bill at Friday’s charity concert, but has decided to stay at home on advice from authorities “to reduce potential health risks”. The concert has now been called off.

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.”

Madonna tour ends early

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The Queen of Pop’s shows at the 2,800-capacity Grand Rex in Paris on Tuesday and Wednesday were due to have been the last of her Madame X world tour.

But on Sunday, the French government banned gatherings of more than 1,000 people.

“It is with profound regret that we are announcing the cancellation of the last two Madame X shows,” the venue said.

Pearl Jam criticise US government response

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The grunge veterans said they were “deeply upset” to call off their 17-date North American tour, which was due to begin in Toronto on 18 March.

“We are being told that being part of large gatherings is high on the list of things to avoid as this global health crisis is now beginning to affect all of our lives,” they wrote on their website.

They also criticised the government’s response to the coronavirus outbreak in the US, where 26 people have died so far. “Having no examples of our national health department’s ability to get ahead of this, we have no reason to believe that it will be under control in the coming weeks ahead,” they said.

President Donald Trump has sought to play down the seriousness of the coronavirus outbreak and overestimate America’s preparedness, BBC North America editor Jon Sopel says.



Coachella ‘to be postponed’

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According to multiple reports, the festival, which attracts 250,000 people over two weekends, will be pushed back by six months.

The Stagecoach country music festival, which is due to be held the following weekend at the same polo club in California’s Coachella Valley, is also expected to be postponed.

It follows the cancellations of the South By Southwest festival in Texas and the Ultra Festival in Miami, Florida. The annual Winter Music Conference in Miami was also called off on Monday.

Neil Young tour announcement on hold

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The veteran Canadian rocker has said he is holding off announcing the first leg of his Crazy Horse world tour because “putting tickets on sale is questionable and needs to be thought through”.

He wrote on his website: “We are all super ready to go, and the last thing we want to do is put people at risk, especially our older audience. No-one wants to become sick in this pandemic.

“So here we are together, watching to see how it goes, how long it will last, and how many more of our planet’s people and animals will be affected.”


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