Entertainers pushed off stage by virus

People | ASSOCIATED PRESS 5 Feb 2020

Concerts and shows are being canceled not just in China but across much of Asia as the virus outbreak that by yesterday had killed more than 430 people and reached over 20 countries spooks the entertainment industry.

Performances have been called off or postponed in Hong Kong, Macau, South Korea and Singapore over concerns people could be infected by the virus that first appeared in Wuhan.

The Boston Symphony Orchestra halted its Asia tour, and the Hong Kong Philharmonic canceled five concerts.

Cantopop veteran Andy Lau Tak-wah canceled long-awaited concerts in Hong Kong, with the organizer saying it's important to protect the health and safety of fans.

It's unclear whether Lau will proceed with a concert in Wuhan in April.

Popular Hong Kong singers Leon Lai and Miriam Yeung Chin-wah also postponed February concerts in Macau and Singapore, respectively. And Taiwanese singer Jolin Tsai Yi-lin postponed a show in China.

South Korean agencies have been canceling K-pop events at home and abroad in response to questions about artists' safety.

Popular artists such as Taeyeon and boy bands Winner and NCT Dream canceled shows in Macau and Singapore, and K-pop boy band GOT7 postponed concerts in Bangkok and Singapore.

And a fan showcase by girl band GFriend is taking place without an audience due to virus fears.

The ripple effects of the virus have been hitting the arts industry hard in Asia, especially in Hong Kong. The SAR, which has molded itself into an international cultural hub, now faces cancellation of multiple events, wreaking further havoc on an economy crippled by anti-government protests that started last summer.

Art Basel Hong Kong, one of Asia's most prestigious art fairs, is considering whether to go forward with the annual event in March.

In a letter to exhibitors, the organizer said: "We share the concerns expressed to us by you, our gallerists and partners. This is a challenging time for all of us. Our team is working to review all options.''

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