Coronavirus disease is an infectious disease which is caused by a newly discovered virus called coronavirus. Some of its symptoms resemble the symptoms of flu like respiratory illness and fever. Since this virus is new, there are no vaccines or treatments to fight against it. However, there are many ongoing clinical trials evaluating potential treatments. As per the World Health Organization, the COVID-19 virus spreads primarily through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose when an infected person coughs or sneezes, so it’s important that you also practice respiratory etiquette. With around 3,090,450 confirmed cases and 217,769 confirmed deaths around the world, Coronavirus has affected 213 countries, areas, or territories. Did anyone ever imagine, a single virus will create such massive human destruction worldwide and put the whole globe under lockdown?
The human species has faced several different diseases in the past like cholera, influenza, and smallpox. They have been brutal killers in human history. There have been pandemics like the HIV/AIDS pandemic, Swine Flu, Ebola virus, Yellow fever, Polio, Flu/ Influenza, and many more similar ones. The scale and spread of these diseases increased dramatically. The humans have paid an unlimited cost to these viruses with a death toll ranging from 1M to 50M. With the novel coronavirus spreading its wings wider day by day, we don’t know how bad will be its consequences in the months to come.
Due to the current coronavirus outbreak, events all over the world are being canceled or postponed for the future. These events include all genres of events ranging from music events, business, and tech events to global sports events. There have been global conferences, major sports events like Olympics, and large scale music festivals. Not only these, many space-related programs and conferences have also been postponed in recent months. Let’s look into some categories of events canceled or postponed and list down major events canceled during this time of the pandemic.
TOKYO OLYMPICS: Let’s begin with the biggest sporting event, the Olympics. Tokyo 2020 Olympics have been postponed over the coronavirus concerns. This announcement was made by the Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe on 21st March 2020. He has stated that the games would not be canceled, they will be held, at the very latest, by the summer of 2021. The Olympics is the biggest event yet to be affected by the growing global pandemic. The Olympic Games is an important international event featuring summer and winter sports. Summer Olympic Games and Winter Olympic Games are held every four years. However, this is not the first time that the Olympic Games have been postponed. Before this, the Olympic Games have been postponed five more times. The first time in 1916, Summer Olympics at Berlin was canceled due to the outbreak of World War I. Tokyo faced this in 1940 when both the Summer and Winter Olympics were canceled after the outbreak of the Second Sino-Japanese War. Olympic Games were canceled for the third time in London in 1944 and the fourth time in Munich in 1972. Before 2020, the Olympic Games were canceled in Atlanta in 1996. This time Tokyo has witnessed this postponement for the second time.
IPL: The Indian Premier League is a professional Twenty20 cricket tournament in India during the months of March, April, and May which have been postponed. All the preparations were done, sponsors, team selection, and the schedule of matches were also designed, but who knew that the coronavirus will play its tournament from March and onwards.
Also, the FIFA World Cup qualifiers in South America have been postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic. Due to the continued health concerns and recent advisories in some Asian countries that large-scale events should be canceled or postponed as a result of the coronavirus, the LPGA and its partners have decided to cancel the 2020 Honda LPGA Thailand, which was scheduled to take place February 20-23 in Pattaya, Thailand. Also, the 2020 HSBC Women’s World Championship, which was scheduled to take place on February 27-March 1 in Singapore is canceled. The China tour series of the Professional Golf Association was canceled altogether. The 18th World Athletics Indoor Championships were scheduled to be held from 13 to 15 March 2020 in Nanjing, China which is now postponed until 2021 because of the outbreak.
Space Events: Due to health and travel concerns related to the spread of the Covid-19 virus, several important space-related events have been postponed or canceled. Spacewatch has listed several national and global meetings and summits related to space which have been canceled or postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Global Aerospace Summit, originally scheduled for 17-19 March in Abu Dhabi, has been postponed until June 2020. CABSAT2020, originally scheduled for 31 March to 2 April, has been postponed until 26-28 October 2020. The UNCOPUOS Legal Subcommittee meeting, scheduled from 23 March – 3 April in Vienna, has been canceled. The UNIDIR 2020 Space Security Conference, originally scheduled for 7-9 April in Geneva, has been rescheduled for 9-10 June. This proves that the world is not only walking behind in terms of economic development and growth but also spatial development.
Music Events and Fests: There are numerous concerts and music events that have been postponed or canceled due to the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic. The American rock band ‘Foo Fighters’ have rescheduled their June European tour dates for 2021. The concert scheduled for July 4 in Landover has been canceled. Sparta is another American rock band that has canceled its 2020 tour dates, just after the release of its new album, Trust the River. The British girl group ‘Little Mix’ announced that their U.K. summer tour is canceled. Another American rock band Bon Jovi announced that they are canceling their 2020 North American Tour. The world-famous Korean band BTS has postponed its entire ‘Map of The Soul’ world tour amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Louisville’s Trifesta: This Trifesta, as the name suggests, is a combination of three music festivals. The festival producer said Hometown Rising, Louder Than Life, and Bourbon & Beyond festivals will all be canceled for 2020. Danny Wimmer Presents said they are working to bring some of the lineups back for 2021. The organizers have promised to refund the tickets. This news was heartbreaking for the organizers, sponsors, and the public as well. The event was to start with the second annual Hometown Rising Country Music & Bourbon Festival on Sept. 12 and 13, followed by the return of “America’s Largest Rock Festival,” Louder Than Life, on September 18-20, and capping off with Bourbon & Beyond on September 25- 27.
Longitude Festival: This is a music festival in Dublin, Ireland that takes place during July every year. Marlay Park is the home of this festival. In 2019, 40,000 people were a part of this event. The preparations of the event were almost complete along with the participating bands and the sponsors when coronavirus jumped up to be the strongest barrier to stop all the great happenings around the globe.
WOO – HAH! Festival: WOO HAH! is a hip hop festival in Hilvarenbeek, The Netherlands. For a three day classic outdoor festival, audiences are submerged and immersed in the music, with top tier performances, outdoor and tented stages, and many extra activities. Away from the hustle and bustle of the city, the festival is a hip-hop music vacation. It was scheduled for three days, 10-12 July 2020 which has been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Shambhala Music Festival: Shambhala Music Festival is an annual electronic music festival held during the last week in July at the Salmo River Ranch, a 500-acre farm, in the West Kootenay mountains near Nelson, British Columbia, Canada. The festival lasts 4 days and 3 nights and offers a mix of music and art in nature. The organizers have announced, “It is with the heaviest of hearts that we must announce the 23rd Annual Shambhala Music Festival, originally scheduled for July 2020, will be postponed to July 2021. The festival will be held at the same location it has called home since 1998: the Salmo River Ranch. We are truly sorry for any inconvenience our postponement may have caused.”
Las Vegas’ Life is Beautiful festival: During the three-day event, the best music acts, artists, thinkers, culinary talent, and festival-goers flow into the urban streets of DTLV. To date, Life Is Beautiful has contributed over $350 million of economic impact to Downtown Las Vegas. Year after year the festival features unforgettable headlining musicians; prominent visual artists adding installations to Downtown Las Vegas’ collection of murals; and thought-provoking speakers who inspire.
NYC Pride: New York City Pride March is an event celebrating the LGBTQ community; it is one of the largest annual Pride marches in the world, attracting tens of thousands of participants and millions of sidewalk spectators each June. This includes some of the iconic events like the NYC Pride March, Pridefest, and Pride Island. With 50+ events and more than 5M people coming together, the year 2020 was going to witness the 50th anniversary of the NYC Pride March. Unfortunately, the event has been canceled.
The list goes on and on. There is an uncountable number of music events, concerts, and festivals all around the world which have been canceled/ postponed due to this fast-spreading coronavirus pandemic. Keeping this category aside, let us continue with the other events the world has missed due to coronavirus pandemic.
SunFest: It is a music and art festival held annually in the first week of May in West Palm Beach, Florida. It is the state’s largest waterfront music and art festival in Florida attracting more than 275,000 visitors. This festival is organized since 1982, which will not take place this year due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Business and Tech Events/Conferences:
SXSW: South by Southwest is an annual media festival in Austin, Texas which was canceled on March 6 over concerns about the spread of the coronavirus when the majority of the sponsors backed out of it because of the COVID-19 outbreak. It is an annual collection of interactive media, parallel film, and music festivals and conferences organized jointly that take place in mid-March every year since 1987. It has been growing in both scope and size every year. The SXSW Conference provides an opportunity for global professionals at every level to participate, network, and advance their careers. This festival offers a unique opportunity to explore the worlds of Film, Music, and Comedy with parties, screenings, awards, and showcases. SXSW hosts many distinctly different exhibitions that connect people from all over the world. It hosts a Trade show and a Gaming Expo which is free and open to the public.
ADOBE ANNUAL SUMMIT: Adobe has shifted the annual live summit to a digital summit. The entire event will take place online. The summit was supposed to be organized in Las Vegas. The software company attracts around 16,000 attendees to the annual Abobe Summit each year.
Along with this, the media summit of REV’d Up will also take place online as a precaution to prevent the spread of the virus. A health-technology conference of Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society which was to be held in Orlando has also been canceled.
Facebook’s biggest event of the year, the F8 conference for developers has been canceled. Plans are being made to replace it with local events and live-streamed content. Another major tech event killed by coronavirus s the annual Global Marketing Summit in San Francisco, which was supposed to host 5,000 people.
The biggest smartphone conference of the year, the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona was canceled after major participating companies including Sony, LG, Amazon, Nvidia, Sprint, MediaTek, Ericsson, Facebook, and Vivo pulled out of the event because of the coronavirus outbreak.
Workday’s annual internal sales conference is going to be a virtual event. The in-person conference was canceled. The GDC (Game Developers Conference) in San Francisco is another great event canceled after major companies like Microsoft and Sony pulled out of the event. A conference in Singapore, EmTechAsia, about business and technology has been postponed to August. The global company Google has canceled its two-day Global News Initiative Summit over coronavirus. Shopify has canceled its annual developer conference, Unite. As you can see, numerous multinational companies have canceled their meetings and conferences.
ASEAN: The Association of Southeast Asian Nations is a biannual meeting held by the ten members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations concerning the economic, political, security, and socio-cultural development of Southeast Asian countries. The coronavirus attacked the 36th ASEAN summit at Las Vegas which now stands postponed without the release of any new date.
With all the global and tech conferences getting canceled, the date of the Worldwide Developers Conference is also not yet declared. Most probably, Apple will change its mind about its biggest conference of the year.
Fashion Shows: Coming to a different genre of events, numerous fashion shows have been canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak. Paris Fashion Week is a series of designer presentations held biannually in Paris, France whose dates are decided by the French Fashion Federation. This event stands out to be a great fashion event around the world which now stands canceled. Another fashion event is the Milan Fashion Week which is a clothing trade show held semi-annually in Milan, Italy. Apart from this, the fashion show of Giorgio Armani is also canceled. Between all this, the Shanghai fashion week will go on, but instead of in-person with a live audience, the event will be live-streamed online because of concerns about the virus.
Festivals and Religious Events: Moving to another series of events, not just conferences, but, Tokyo’s famous cherry blossom festival also stands canceled because of the outbreak. In Tokyo, the cherry blossom season peaks from late March to early April. The government says, “To prevent the further spread of the coronavirus, people are urged not to hold Hanami parties during this year’s cherry blossom festival.” For centuries, this festival has been celebrated in Japan and holds an important place in Japanese culture. Most of the varieties of Sakura trees blossom for just a couple of days in spring. The Japanese celebrate this time of the year with Hanami (cherry blossom viewing) parties: friends, family or work colleagues gather and sit on plastic mats under the blossoming trees, to drink, sing, chat or just admire the spectacle. This festival is the most awaited one in Japan. People from around the world visit Japan during this season to enjoy the beauty of this festival.
When the cherry blossom season in Okinawa ends, colorful azaleas move in and carry the torch. The Azalea festival takes place in Higashi village with the blooming of 50,000 azaleas. According to the village office, this festival attracts around 40,000 visitors yearly. Although Higashi is a laid back area, every March, the area is teeming with visitors wanting to catch a glimpse of the azalea blossoms. Imagine, a place welcoming 40,000 visitors rendered silent by a virus this year.
The last two days celebrations of the historic celebration of Venice carnival were canceled by the Venice authorities because of the outbreak. In Ireland, several St. Patrick’s Day parades were canceled.
With the occurrence of Ramadan, the holy month of fasting for Muslims, several events have been canceled around the world like the Ramadan bazaar in Malaysia and Singapore and Etekaf and Mid-Sha’ban in Iran. The Islamic pilgrimage Umrah has also been banned for some time because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The Christian Holy Weeks in Spain and Rome have been canceled which are celebrated in the week just preceding Easter. Also, the Easter celebrations were canceled including the Easter fires. The list also includes the New Orleans St. Joseph’s Night and Parade, which takes place on 19 March on St. Joseph’s Day. Also, the Buddha Purnima celebrations in numerous parts of the world were canceled like the Vesak in Thailand, Buddha’s Birthday in Australia and South Korea. The Burmese New Year Thingyan, which is celebrated in the mid of April in Myanmar was not celebrated.
Automotive Events: The global challenge posed by the spread of the coronavirus has been swift and already significant. The automotive industry is incredibly international in scope and thus is exposed to the widespread disruption that Covid-19 is causing. Most of the companies have announced the closure of their plants and factories for some weeks or months. Apart from this, numerous Motor shows have been canceled/ postponed. Let’s list down some of them.
Motorsport: The Formula One’s Chinese Grand Prix which had to take place at the Shanghai International Circuit has been postponed. An unknown fact about the track is when it was completed in 2004, it was the most expensive Formula One Circuit facility, costing US$ 240 million. The FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile) has announced the cancelation of the Australian Grand Prix and the postponement of the Bahrain, Vietnam, and China Grand Prix. All these events were scheduled in the months of March and April. The World Rally Championship in Mexico took place, but due to the coronavirus outbreak, it was finished one day earlier. The 24 Hours of Le Mans is the world’s oldest active sports car race in endurance racing which was planned for September has also been postponed. Another sports event, the 12 Hours of Sebring, which is an annual sports endurance race for sports cars held at Sebring International Raceway, on the site of the former Hendricks Army Airfield World War II airbase in Sebring, Florida, US, has been rescheduled to November 11-14, 2020. Eurosport Events, promoter of the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup has canceled the WTCR Race of Hungary, originally scheduled for 24-26 April 2020.
Motor Shows: The Geneva Motor Show, which is an annual auto show held in March in the Swiss city of Geneva was the first major automotive event to be canceled because of coronavirus. In addition to this, the New York International Auto Show has been rescheduled for August 2020. Motor show in China was to be held from April 21 to April 30, the Beijing Motor Show – Auto China 2020, which is now postponed. Another auto show on the list is the Detroit Auto Show 2020 which usually takes place in January, but was planned for July this year. The host location, the TCF Center, is being used as a field hospital for COVID-19 patients. In October, the Paris Motor Show was to be held, which will now run in parts using an online format.
Award Ceremonies: The 21st British Soap Awards have been canceled, which is held in the United Kingdom for honoring the best of British soap operas. An annual music awards ceremony, the Canadian Folk Music Awards, was conducted online via the Facebook page and official website. They present awards in a variety of categories for achievements in both traditional and contemporary folk music, and other roots music genres, by Canadian musicians. Some other important events in the list of canceled events are the 8th Canadian Screen Awards, 40th Golden Raspberry Awards, Juno Awards of 2020, Laurence Olivier Awards and many more to keep the list unending.
United Nations Organization: The United Nations has canceled some meetings in Bonn, Germany, and Scotland. This included a climate summit of UNFCCC. Another one is the Glasgow summit in November which is expected to be the most important round of climate negotiations since the 2015 Paris agreement was reached. Many such summits, conferences, and meetings have been canceled seeing the serious problem of the coronavirus outbreak.
All these events have formed a part of the routine of the organizers and participants every year. No doubt, all are sad about the cancelation or postponement of the event. But, it’s time to stay united by staying at home. It’s time to support the whole world by being cautious. All the festivals and events are on hold. The world will get back to normal soon. You will soon be able to enjoy all your pleasures again. But, for now, we need to control ourselves, stay at home for the good of our country and the good of the world. Let’s be positive and not lose hope. We wish that the countries that are testing and producing vaccines at a large scale get successful in their ventures and humankind can find out ways to come out of this virus web. Let’s pray and stay positive and motivated.
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