Concerts and shows are being cancelled across Asia as the coronavirus has reached more than 27 countries and territories and killed more than 420 people.
Performances have been called off or postponed in South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong and Macau over concern that people could be infected by the virus that first appeared in Wuhan.
Popular K-pop artists such as Taeyeon and boy bands Winner and NCT Dream cancelled shows in Singapore and Macau, according to their agency and concert organiser. K-pop boy band Got7 postponed concerts in Bangkok and Singapore, while a fan showcase by girl band GFriend is taking place in South Korea without an audience due to virus fears.
The Boston Symphony Orchestra called off its Asia tour, and the Hong Kong Philharmonic cancelled five concerts in its home city.
Canto-pop veteran Andy Lau Tak-wah cancelled a series of long-awaited concerts in Hong Kong, with the organiser saying it was vital to protect the health and safety of audience members. It’s unclear whether Lau will proceed with an April concert in Wuhan.
Popular Hong Kong singers Leon Lai Ming and Miriam Yeung Chin-wah also postponed their February concerts in Macau and Singapore, respectively. Taiwanese singer Jolin Tsai postponed a show in mainland China, according to her official account on Chinese social media platform Weibo.
The ripple effects of the virus have been hitting the arts industry hard in Asia, especially in Hong Kong. The city now faces the cancellation of multiple events, wreaking further havoc on an economy already crippled by prolonged anti-government protests.
Art Basel Hong Kong, one of Asia’s most prestigious art fairs, is considering whether to go forward with the annual event in March.
“We share the concerns expressed to us by you, our gallerists and partners,” the organisers said in a letter to exhibitors on January 30. “This is a challenging time for all of us. Our team is working hard to review all possible options.”