The coronavirus epidemic began in the Chinese city of Wuhan and has since reached more than 20 countries and killed more than 300 people. Upcoming concerts in China have been called off, as well as gigs in South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong and Macao.
Several major K-pop acts have decided to cancel shows, including Taeyeon, Winner and NCT, who had upcoming gigs in Singapore and Macao, while GOT7 postponed shows in Singapore and Bangkok, Thailand. Yesterday, February 3rd, the girl group GFriend went ahead with a fan showcase, although without any actual fans in attendance (video of the audience-less show will be uploaded to YouTube tomorrow, February 5th).
The coronavirus outbreak also prompted the Boston Symphony Orchestra to cancel their 2020 Asian tour with famed pianist Yefim Bronfman, which was supposed to kick off February 6th. In a statement released last week, BSO president and CEO, Mark Volpe, said: “[I]t has become clear through recent official reports that concerns over the spread of the new coronavirus have dramatically increased, forcing the orchestra to look seriously at the feasibility of proceeding with the tour. With the health and well-being of the musicians and entire tour party, including Yefim Bronfman, always of foremost concern — along with the decision made by the Shanghai presenters to cancel upcoming performances — we have canceled the entire tour.”
Hong Kong has reportedly been hit particularly hard by these cancellations, with the coronavirus adding additional strain to a country that’s been gripped by protests against the Chinese government for much of the past year. The Hong Kong Philharmonic has canceled five shows, while Cantopop superstar Andy Lau reportedly had to cancel 12 concerts in Hong Kong, and a handful in Wuhan, China, as well. At the moment, it’s also unclear whether or not Art Basel Hong Kong will go ahead as scheduled this March.