With international travel banned for most, exceptions are being made for athletes and it’s not going well
The Australian Open is slated to begin in just a few short weeks on February 8th and the tournament is already off to a rocky start. 3 of the chartered flights used to transport athletes and staff from around the world to Melbourne were carrying individuals that tested positive for COVID resulting in 14 day quarantine periods for more than 70 of the participants. The athletes are confined to their hotel rooms making it impossible for them to train. Australia has been applauded for their strict policies regarding the virus which has allowed the country to return to something resembling normal and the incoming athletes were granted no exception. Even with the mandatory quarantine, the country has seen several new infections resulting from the international arrivals.
Due to the current circumstances and controversy surrounding the Open, the Tokyo 2020 Olympics (no, that’s not a typo) will be under severe scrutiny. Many are questioning whether it’s wise to host an international athletic event due to the increased risk of spreading the virus, especially given that cases are on the rise in Japan and a portion of the country is in a state of emergency with borders closed to international travelers. There are numerous plans in place to reduce the risk of infections, including a 14 day quarantine and testing every 4 days throughout the duration of the games; however, there is still mounting skepticism about the feasibility of moving forward.
Corona strikes again and the first wave of 2021 event cancellations begins
The organizers of Glastonbury released a statement yesterday that the “largest green-field festival in the world” would be cancelled again this year. While this news is devastating, it really didn’t come as much of a surprise. The vaccine rollout is chugging along but the June timeline seemed like a bit of a pipe dream for the 150,000 person festival. The lack of an insurance scheme and less than enthusiastic government support for the industry forced the Eavis family to make the difficult choice to cancel this year's show. Despite their valiant efforts and waiting as long as possible to call it, the show will not go on.
But don’t lose hope, new shows and dates are being announced around the world
STRANDKORB Open Air Germany announced dates for 5 additional cities after their success in 2020.
The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival that normally takes place in the spring has announced dates in October.
The Irish government is organizing a series of concerts, “Live Aid-style”. The intention is to host several concurrent shows across the EU to celebrate the return to live and raise money for those impacted financially by the pandemic.
The first festival in the Netherlands has been given a permit to proceed; Frontier Festival will have its summer debut.
A series of concerts titled “Re<Start” is going ahead in Hamburg at the Barclaycard Arena beginning on May 2nd.