Schools and restaurants haven’t been the only institutions to experience widespread closures amid the coronavirus pandemic. Dozens of major events have also been forced to postpone or cancel in an effort to keep attendees safe.
2020 Tokyo Olympics
After weeks of speculation, the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo have been postponed until 2021. The International Olympics Committee, Tokyo 2020 organizers, and the Japanese government agreed to hold the games between July 23 and August 8, 2021 but still call them the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Though the Olympics were cancelled in 1916, 1940, and 1944 due to World War I and World War II, this marks the first time the Olympics have been cancelled for anything short of active warfare.
Cannes International Film Festival
The Cannes Film Festival was slated to run from May 12 to 23, but it announced on March 19 that it’s been postponed “due to the health crisis and the development of the French and international situation.” A new date is anticipated in June or July.
74th Annual Tony Awards
This year’s Tony Awards should have aired on June 7th from Radio City Music Hall in New York, but it’s been postponed until a later time. Once New York Governor Andrew Cuomo allows Broadway to reopen, the Tony Awards committee will evaluate the best new date for this iconic event.
South by Southwest
South by Southwest, also known as SXSW, is a massive film, music, and tech conference that has now been cancelled for the first time in its 34-year history. It would have taken place in mid-March, but due to the coronavirus outbreak, the Austin Convention Center remained empty during that time. This devastated participants and businesses, many of which lost tens of thousands of dollars in revenue as a result.
The Kentucky Derby was originally scheduled for May 2, but it will now take place on September 5 instead. This marks the first time the race will not be held on the first Saturday in May since 1945, when it was postponed until June during the end of World War II.
Churchill Downs Inc. CEO, Bill Carstanjen explained, “Throughout the rapid development of the COVID-19 pandemic, our first priority has been how to best protect the safety and health of our guests, team members and community. As the situation evolved, we reached the difficult conclusion that we needed to reschedule.”
Boston Mayor Martin Walsh announced on March 13 that the Boston Marathon, initially scheduled for April 20, has been postponed until September 14. In its 124-year history, this is the first time the race has been delayed.
Coachella and Stagecoach, both wildly popular music festivals that take place in Southern California, have been postponed from April to October. More than 100,000 people attend Coachella per day, creating an economic impact of up to $400 million on the Coachella Valley. Ticket holders who cannot attend in October are eligible for refunds.
Mobile World Congress
Located in Barcelona, Spain, the Mobile World Congress is the world’s biggest smartphone conference of the year. It was forced to cancel after most major companies, including LG, Amazon, Sony, Facebook, and Sprint pulled out of the event due to COVID-19 concerns.
All Major Sporting Events
In addition to the countless musicals, concerts, productions, conferences, and celebrity events canceled as a result of coronavirus, all NBA, NFL, and MLB games were cancelled as well. The NBA began the trend after a Utah Jazz player tested positive for the virus. According to the league’s statement on March 12, “The NBA will use this hiatus to determine next steps for moving forward in regard to the coronavirus pandemic.”
After the threat of the coronavirus pandemic fades and Americans can resume their normal routines, event holders hope their enthusiastic attendees will return.