Coronavirus scare forces mass cancellation of festivals and parties across Asia

The coronavirus, technically an umbrella term for a large group of respiratory infections including the common cold, was officially renamed by the World Health Organization as COVID-19 last week. Like influenza, the coronavirus spreads among people in close contact, leading Asian health officials to recommend the cancellation of large-scale events. This has dealt huge financial and logistical blows to the live music and nightlife industry in Asia.

In China, where the coronavirus originated in the city of Wuhan, the number of confirmed infections have crossed the 70,000 mark. Several venues have closed their doors on orders from authorities. TAG, an underground club in Chengdu, announced its temporary closure and the cancellation of its annual seven-day Spring Festival in late January. In a statement on Facebook, TAG said it will “wait indefinitely until the situation is stable to open the door again.”

Outside of China, neighboring dance communities are also hurting. Several international artists scheduled to perform in Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong have called off or delayed gigs amid worries over travelling to Asia, according to promoters. After China, Singapore currently holds the highest number of cases of COVID-19, followed by Japan and Hong Kong.