ACM, iHEART KEEP THEIR DATES

Deals with top acts to move Coachella to October have been finalized after marathon conversations (and some elephant-bucks guarantees). It’s quite unusual to see the top agents, attorneys and managers—who are fiercely competitive with one another—come together in discussions as they have over the past few days; the live sector has truly pulled together to make Coachella’s rescheduling a reality. (One can only imagine the level of pontificating heard by this captive audience in the process.)

The only fly in the ointment: Whether or not the desert festival can return to its regular April slot next year, just six months after the 2020 fest.

In the macro, despite 24/7 screaming headlines about Coronavirus and myriad cancellations, ticket sales for top treks are hot and heavy. Tours by Lady Gaga and The Weeknd, for example, sold out immediately.

The players are now wondering about two big music events on the horizon, the iHeartRadio Music Awards (3/29 at L.A.’s Forum) and the ACM Awards (4/5) in Las Vegas. Could the cascade of Coronavirus-related cancellations and postponements have a domino effect on these highly touted shows? The music world knows full well that Vegas isn’t going to shut the ACMs down, because that’s not how Sin City rolls. L.A. is a different matter, having declared a health emergency.

A source close to the Vegas situation says the parties are still planning for the ACMs to happen, and iHeart has released the following statement:

The event will continue as scheduled and we are working closely with the venue to ensure best practices as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Our primary goal is always the safety our guests, employees and partners and we will continue to provide any relevant updates as they become available.

Short of a government decision that would activate the Force Majeure clause in their artist deals, how will the organizers of the two trophyfests navigate these difficult waters?

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