On Thursday (March 12) New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a state-wide ban on social gatherings of 500 people or more as a way to combat the spread of coronavirus.
The governor took to social media to state, “We are taking new actions to reduce the density of people across the state. Starting Friday at 5pm, gatherings with 500 people or more will not be permitted in NYS.”
He added that venues with an occupancy of 500 or less will be legally required to host a maximum of half the capacity.
The ban will hit Broadway theaters beginning at 5 p.m. EST Thursday and will include many concerts throughout the city.
Madison Square Garden alone will be forced to cancel or postpone shows from Billie Eilish on Sunday, Billy Joel on Tuesday and a previously announced postponement for Pearl Jam originally scheduled for March 30. Radio City Music Hall will also see cancellation or postponement of shows from Third Eye Blind, Thom Yorke‘s Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes and more.
Additional venues that will lose concerts throughout the month of March include Brooklyn Bowl, Bowery Ballroom, Terminal 5 and Brooklyn Steel, among many more. Wire, Nathaniel Rateliff, Against Me! and Sudan Archives all have affected shows.
Wednesday night, Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, New York, postponed all three dates for Phil Lesh‘s birthday celebration scheduled for this weekend due to concerns about the coronavirus.
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has also banned large gatherings in his state over coronavirus concerns. Announced Thursday, the Ohio ban prohibits more than 100 people in a single room or space.
“This includes auditoriums, stadiums, arenas, large conference rooms, meeting halls, cafeterias, or any other confined indoor or outdoor space. This also includes parades, fairs, and festivals,” DeWine said in a post.
“FOR CLARITY: a mass gathering does NOT include normal operations at airports, bus and train stations, medical facilities, shopping malls, shopping centers or other spaces where 100 or more people may be in transit,” DeWine added. “It does NOT apply to typical office environments, schools, restaurants, factories, or retail or grocery stores where large groups of people are present but it is unusual for them to be within an arm’s length of one another.”
As a result, Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse in Cleveland will lose a show from Michael Bublé. The Newport Music Hall and EXPRESS LIVE! in Columbus will have to cancel or postpone shows from Anderson East, Dillon Francis, Band of Horses, while the city’s Nationwide Arena will lose a March date for Sturgill Simpson and Tyler Childers.
The news follows similar bans popping up throughout the country. On Wednesday, Washington Governor Jay Inslee issued an emergency declaration banning large gatherings across three counties — Snohomish, Pierce and King, where Seattle is located — shutting down events of 250 people or more.
On Thursday, California Governor Gavin Newsom also called on a ban of social gatherings throughout the state of 250 people or more. That followed a Wednesday decision by San Francisco Mayor London Breed announced a ban on social gatherings of 1,000 people or more.