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Coronavirus: Main events cancelled in UK and around the world

Sporting tournaments postponed as Netflix halts productions and studios push back film releases

Andy Gregory
Sunday 15 March 2020 14:24 GMT
Coronavirus: What events have been cancelled?

Governments around the world are turning to increasingly drastic measures to curb the impact of the coronavirus, including lockdowns, travel restrictions and curfews.

While such measures have not yet been introduced in the UK, the public is nonetheless bracing for the possibility of spending considerably more time at home in the coming weeks.

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And although Westminster now looks set to ban mass gatherings – which has already happened in Scotland – many event organisers have decided to cancel or postpone, both pre-emptively and to safeguard fans and attendees.

We’ve compiled a list of all the major events that have been affected.

SXSW Festival in Austin, Texas, has cancelled its 2020 event following concerns from the city about the coronavirus outbreak.

“‘The show must go on’ is in our DNA, and this is the first time in 34 years that the March event will not take place,” the festival’s organisers said in a statement. “We are now working through the ramifications of this unprecedented situation.”

California’s Coachella Festival, which was planned for April with Frank Ocean, Travis Scott and Rage Against the Machine headlining, has been postponed until October.

The Rage Against the Machine reunion tour, which was due to start on 26 March in Texas, has been postponed until summer. The group are due to headline at Reading and Leeds Festival in August, which organisers currently believe will go ahead as planned.

Radio 1’s Big Weekend Festival has also been cancelled. It was due to take place in Dundee during the late May bank holiday with Dua Lipa and Harry Styles headlining.

The Who have postponed their UK tour, which was due to start on 16 March, due to coronavirus fears. The tour was meant open at the Manchester Arena before finishing at Wembley SSE Arena in April. The dates will be rescheduled for later in the year and all tickets will be honoured.

Billie Eilish has postponed March dates of her world tour, which includes dates around North America.

Stormzy has cancelled dates of the Asia leg of his Heavy is the Head tour. He was due to play Malaysia, Singapore, Japan, China and South Korea. “I promise I’ll be back,” he said after making the announcement.

Madonna was forced to cancel the final two shows of her ​​Madame X tour, after France introduced restrictions on public gatherings.

Neil Young hasn’t cancelled anything just yet, but he’s delaying announcing his Crazy Horse world tour because he doesn’t want to “put people at risk, especially our older audience”.

Pearl Jam postponed their US and Canada tour, citing coronavirus-related risk “simply too high for our comfort level”.

Record Store Day has been postponed until 20 June. The organisers said: “We’re working with all of our partners and our stores to make this change as smooth as possible for everyone: customers, record stores, artists, labels and more.”

Tribeca Film Festival – due to be held in New York in mid-April – has also been cancelled.

Disney has announced it has postponed the releases of Mulan, The New Mutants and horror film Antlers, which it acquired from Fox, indefinitely. There is currently no word on whether new Marvel film Black Widow will be released, although it’s looking unlikely.

Universal Pictures has shifted Fast & Furious 9‘s release date from May 2020 to April 2021, despite launching the film’s trailer with an expensive Super Bowl campaign earlier this year.

John Krasinski announced he was postponing Paramount Pictures’ A Quiet Place II – just one week before his sequel was due to be released.

The release of Peter Rabbit 2 has been delayed until August. Initially set for release in the UK in March, the film has been pushed back in an attempt to attract a larger audience.​

Daniel Craig’s final Bond outing No Time to Die, which was originally set to be released globally on 1 April, has been pushed back to November. The decision will reportedly cost the studio $50m (£39.7m).

Work on the production of films and television shows has also been halted amid the pandemic.

Netflix has halted production on every single scripted film in US and Canada, and a vast number of shows including Stranger Things and Russian Doll.

After initially planning to relocate production from London to Liverpool, Warner Bros has now closed down the shoot of Matt Reeves’ The Batman for a fortnight.

Universal has halted work on Jurassic World: Dominion, as has Disney on its live-action remake of The Little Mermaid.

Baz Luhrmann’s as-yet untitled Elvis Presley biopic, starring Austin Butler, has halted its production after Tom Hanks – who is playing his manager Colonel Tom Parker – tested positive for the virus.

US chat show hosts are also announcing their shows are to be taken off air now that Donald Trump has declared a “national emergency”. Jimmy Kimmel Live, Real Time with Bill Maher, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, The Ellen DeGeneres Show and Last Week Tonight with John Oliver are “going dark” indefinitely.


The Premier League and EFL have announced all elite football will be suspended until 3 April. The FA has also confirmed there will be no England internationals at any level in that time.

Uefa has confirmed the remaining Champions League last 16 second legs are all postponed with no date to reschedule yet. The same is true of Europa League last 16 second legs.

On the continent, LaLiga has announced it has suspended “at least the next two rounds of matches”. All domestic sporting action in Italy – including Serie A matches – has been suspended until 3 April.

French Ligue 1 games will be held behind closed doors or in front of no more than 1,000 spectators, with German Bundesliga matches also closed off to the public.


The International Olympic Committee remains fully committed to staging the Tokyo 2020 Games as scheduled this summer, despite Japan’s Olympic minister Seiko Hashimoto suggesting it could be postponed until later in the year.

The British Olympic Association still plans to send a delegation of around 55 people to Tokyo this month for a “detailed operational recce”.

Rugby Union

In Rugby Union, the Six Nations has been postponed. England and France currently lead the pack, with Scotland sitting in third place.

Formula One

The Australian Grand Prix has been postponed over coronavirus concerns, with Bahrain, Vietnam also cancelled. The Dutch Grand Prix in May is expected to be called off.

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The high-profile BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells, where the likes of Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic were due to compete, was called off.

The ATP has announced a six-week suspension of the men’s professional tennis tour due to “escalating health and safety issues” arising from the coronavirus outbreak.


The World Indoor Championships, which had been due to take place in Nanjing in China this month, have been called off.

The London and Manchester marathons have been postponed until the autumn with the Boston and Paris marathons also off.

Community, professional and political events

While no organisers are yet to postpone a Pride march in the UK, which are scheduled throughout the summer, Los Angeles Pride – due to be held in June – has been cancelled.

Many cities in the US have also cancelled their St Patrick’s Day celebrations, on 17 March. It is the first time in more than 250 years the New York parade has not taken place.

Last week, the London Book Fair – one of the world’s largest book festivals – was also forced to cancel amid coronavirus fears. Some 25,000 authors, publishers and agents were due to attend.

The largest teaching union in Europe, the National Education Union became the latest organisation to cancel their annual conference, which had been due to take place in Bournemouth from April 6-9.

Dr Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the union, said the union feared having more than 1,500 delegates and guests from across the UK and further afield in close quarters in an enclosed building for more than four days could create an elevated risk for a coronavirus-spreading event.

Many global tech conferences are also cancelling or are moving their event to a digital-only format.

Facebook has decided to cancel its annual F8 developers conference in San Jose, California, after already cancelling its March global marketing summit in San Francisco as a result of the outbreak.

Google, Microsoft and Adobe have also cancelled conferences, most of which were due to take place in the US.

Additional reporting by agencies

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