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VIRUS IN THE U.K.: KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON

All the three major labels are closing their offices in the U.K. beginning Monday, and other than the Country to Country Festival being postponed, large gatherings are proceeding.

UMG’s Kings Cross office is closed for two weeks, and Warner Music’s office in Kensington will close for “at least” two weeks. Sony's London workers have been instructed to work from home next week until further notice.

As of today, there have been 596 confirmed cases of Coronavirus in the U.K. and 10 deaths. Despite bans across Europe on large events, the U.K. has yet to issue similar measures, with many March gigs set to go ahead. 

Tonight, shows by Lewis CapaldiElvis Costello and Bryan Ferry are all happening, and Morrissey will play the SSE Arena Saturday. Sam FenderVan Morrison and Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds are amongst acts with big upcoming gigs within the next month. 

The U.K. Government is attempting to delay the spread of the virus by asking those with flu-like symptoms to self-isolate, for school trips abroad to be cancelled, and older people and those with pre-existing health conditions are being told to avoid cruises, reports the BBC. Further measures will be taken as the virus infection moves towards its peak. 

UK Music acting CEO Tom Kiehl has called for government support for the music industry, warning that canceled events could force some firms and events out of business. Grassroots music venues are already suffering a 27% downturn in attendance, according to the latest figures from the Music Venue Trust. The Association of Independent Festivals reports that ticket sales for its members are down on average by 44% since the coronavirus outbreak.

Kiehl has asked for VAT “holidays” to support music businesses; further extending business rates relief; helping the 72% of those in the music industry who are self-employed; compensation schemes in the event of cancellations; and holding insurance companies to account.

Amid fears of multimillion-pound losses, Kiehl said the Government should urgently consider launching a compensation fund for music businesses hit by the impact of the virus—similar to a scheme already under way in Denmark.

The official word from festivals including Field Day, Latitude, Isle of Wight and Reading/Leeds is that they are still going ahead as planned, according to Vice

As Glastonbury organisers told ticket holders, they continue to plan for the event, while closely monitoring developments. The full line-up was announced Thursday, with Dua LipaPet Shop Boys and Mabel among the 90 names added to the schedule.

Radio 1's Big Weekend on 5/22 was  scrapped there's no news on whether Germany's Glastonbury, Rock am Ring, will take place from 6/5—although lots of shows are being postponed in the country after the Health Minister recommended canceling events with over 1k people. British Summer Time in Hyde Park in early July is another big one that might be impacted.

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