Shows postponed but fans remain optimistic

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China Daily, March 9, 2020
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Nearly 8,000 performances have been canceled or postponed in March due to the coronavirus outbreak across the country, with a resulting 1 billion yuan ($143.2 million) in ticketing losses, according to a report released by China Association of Performing Arts on Monday.

"The year 2020 was expected to be a major year for the performing arts market in China with venues, such as theaters and stadiums, having been booked in the fourth quarter of 2019," says the report released by China Association of Performing Arts. "But because of the viral outbreak, performances have been canceled or postponed in January and February. The performing arts market will continue to be affected by the outbreak until the virus is contained."

Major venues, such as the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing, the Tianqiao Performing Arts Center in Beijing, the Shanghai Grand Theater, and the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai, have announced cancellations or postponements of shows. Mahua Funage, a comedy production company, has announced the cancellation of 22 plays, which were planned to be staged in more than 10 cities in February and March.

Major concerts and events that have been postponed or canceled due to the epidemic include Hong Kong pop singer and actor Andy Lau, whose world tour 2020, titled My Love World Tour, was scheduled to start on Feb 15 in Hong Kong and planned to visit other Chinese cities, such as Beijing, Guangzhou in Guangdong province and Shanghai, with organizers citing health and safety concerns. However, 93 percent of the ticket holders of Lau's concerts didn't return their tickets, keeping their seats for the concerts.

On Jan 22, Chinese singer Liu Yuning announced on social media platform Sina Weibo, on which he has more than 10 million followers, that his concert in Wuhan, Hubei province, the epicenter of the epidemic, which was scheduled to be held on Feb 14, had to be postponed due to the viral outbreak. The Wuhan stop was going to be the last leg of Liu's national tour, which kicked off on Aug 17 in Beijing. Though all fans were promised full refunds, 94 percent of them decided to keep their tickets for the show, expressing their wish to watch the show after the epidemic ends.

The latest statistics released by ticketing firm Damai show that 66 percent of ticket purchasers for the shows, especially around 800 pop concerts that were due to be held this year, chose to keep their tickets. Besides, audiences, who bought tickets of some sold-out theatrical productions, including Pingtan Impression, a dance drama choreographed and directed by renowned Chinese dancer Yang Liping, which was planned to be held on March 29 at Jiangsu Center for the Performing Arts in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, but is now postponed, still hold the tickets while waiting for the show to be staged.

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