Music News: Glastonbury, Eurovision canceled

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Glastonbury Festival of Music and Performing Arts, 2019.
Glastonbury Festival of Music and Performing Arts, 2019. (OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)

In the latest concert cancelation to rock the music world, this year's Glastonbury festival has been canceled due to concerns over the rapidly spreading coronavirus. Poignantly, it was to be the 50th anniversary year for one of Europe's biggest and most prestigious music festivals.

In a statement, organizers said, "clearly, this was not a course of action we hoped to take for our 50th anniversary event, but following the new government measures announced this week — and in times of such unprecedented uncertainty — this is now our only viable option."

The festival was scheduled to be held from June 24-28 in Somerset, England; over 200,000 would have been onsite at Worthy Farm for performances by artists including Paul McCartney, Kendrick Lamar, and Taylor Swift. Organizers say they "very much hope the situation has improved by the end of June," but note that it takes months of work to prepare the festival grounds for the event, and bringing those workers together is simply not safe right now. (BBC)

Another major cancelation will hit you particularly hard if you're looking for fun stuff to watch during your social distancing, because it's one of the music world's zaniest and most popular annual televised events.

The Eurovision Song Contest will not be held this year, said executive supervisor Jon Ola Sand. "We are very proud of the Eurovision Song Contest, that for 64 years has united people all around Europe. We regret this situation very much, but I can promise you: the Eurovision Song Contest will come back stronger than ever."

This year's contest was set to take place on May 16 in Rotterdam. That's because last year's winner, Duncan Lawrence, hails from the Netherlands. Organizers say they considered holding the event remotely, with competitors performing via satellite, but they decided that "it's in the DNA of the Eurovision Song Contest to bring delegations, artists and fans together in one place and provide an equal platform for all artists to compete together on the same stage." (BBC)

Amazon stops stocking records

You don't need to go anywhere or gather in crowds to enjoy music at home, but getting new records delivered does make use of limited resources that are needed elsewhere at this moment of crisis. That's why Amazon has temporarily stopped placing wholesale orders for records, CDs, and music merch: so the delivery giant can focus on stocking and distributing essential medical supplies and household staples. The hold on products outside of those essentials will last until April 5, the company said in a statement.

Items that Amazon already has in its warehouses will still be processed as usual, so you may still be in luck if you're hoping to grab something that's not a high-demand item. Many artists also sell merch directly, and of course many independent record stores are still shipping even if it's not currently safe for them to open their doors for business. Record Store Day was recently postponed from April 18 to June 20. (Pitchfork)

Jeremy messersmith talks about being tested

Minneapolis singer-songwriter jeremy messersmith is currently in self-quarantine after showing symptoms and being tested for COVID-19. He shared his experience on Twitter, along with a video of himself being swabbed. He told The Current's Jill Riley that "it's mildly uncomfortable but it's not particularly painful. It only takes a second." He said he's sharing his story "to kind of give a little solidarity" at a challenging time. (Local Current)

Performances move online

With most of the world practicing social distancing, many musicians are moving their shows online until it's safe to share space again. Check out The Current's events calendar for an ongoing list of virtual gigs. on Thursday, for example, artists performing online include Indigo Girls, Ben Gibbard, Waxahatchee, and Kevin Morby. With the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles closed, the institution is posting images of its exhibits online and streaming previously recorded performances by artists including Billie Eilish, Brandi Carlile, Greta Van Fleet, and Kool and the Gang. (Rolling Stone)

On CBS This Morning, John Legend talked about why he played an acoustic concert online and how he's encouraging his fans to do what they can to help make a difference while keeping themselves and their communities safe.


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