ZZ Top Postpone Las Vegas Residency Over Coronavirus
The band issued a statement that reads, “ZZ Top has announced that their March 20-28 residency at the Venetian Theatre inside the Venetian, Las Vegas, has been rescheduled out of an abundance of caution. We will make a return engagement at the Venetian with specific dates to be announced soon. Thank you for understanding and look forward to seeing you all in Vegas soon!"
The World Health Organization confirmed that cases have been found in every state of America, with a total of 6,524 confirmed, and 116 deaths and 106 recoveries. Worldwide, just short of 200,000 cases have been currently confirmed, with 7,994 deaths, 82,783 recoveries and a total of 108,417 active cases, of which 102,000 were mild.
Meanwhile, Queen guitarist Brian May appealed to his fans to avoid panicking amid the pandemic, and to read an article he shared. “There is so much false information out there,” he wrote on Instagram. “Please read the article. … It will take you 30 minutes or so to absorb it – but at the end you will truly understand why we must take extreme measures now. ... Do not confuse this with panicking. It is simply taking the measures we need to adopt to protect ourselves from a hellish future.”
Former Journey and Sons of Apollo singer Jeff Scott Soto asked music fans to spare a thought for struggling musicians who faced the loss of their careers as a result of tour cancellations. “As I share and read all the concerns of the COVID-19 disruption to our lives, I am also seeing some horribly invalid and sometimes ugly perceptions about us artists not being as affected as folks with 'real jobs,'" he wrote.
“Can I please remind those who think we are swimming in endless pools of money, from the 'paid VIP meet n greets' to 'overpriced merch' to 'hefty ticket prices' that we, the musicians, come home with a fraction of these earnings in the end, not the lion's share you may think based on the pricing climate of going to shows today.”
He noted that many artists have “graduated from sleeping on friends' couches to temporarily moving back home to affording our own small apartment to then finally buying a modest home (and so on) ... [but] we have the same concerns, bills, ups and downs, highs and lows as everyone else. … Maybe more now because we are the embodiment of the old saying, 'Nothing good lasts forever!'”
Responding to those considerations, the Recording Academy announced the launch of a coronavirus relief fund via its MusiCares organization, with the intention of offering financial help to music-industry professionals most in need. CEO Harvey Mason Jr. told Billboard the program would focus on “people that really need help – that live paycheck to paycheck. These are not the artists that are going on worldwide tours on jets.”
He added that the Academy and MusiCares had each contributed $1 million to start the program, and that he’d be approaching record labels, streaming platforms and others to ask for more. “Some people need help with their rent, some need to buy groceries, some need medical care,” he said. “The infrastructure around MusiCares is set up to deal with specifically that.”