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AEG, Live Nation Respond to Colorado's 250-Capacity Event Cancellations

AEG Presents Rocky Mountains' newest venue is one of the latest to be shut down over coronavirus fears.EXPAND
AEG Presents Rocky Mountains' newest venue is one of the latest to be shut down over coronavirus fears.
Adam Casey

AEG Presents will be closing down operations at the Bluebird Theater, Gothic Theatre, Ogden Theatre, Mission Ballroom and 1STBANK Center after Governor Jared Polis ordered all events with 250 or more people canceled today, March 13, in an attempt to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Only a few hours later, Mayor Michael Hancock announced that the City and County of Denver will be shutting down events at all city-owned venues through April 12. Those venues include Red Rocks Amphitheatre (no Easter sunrise service), the Denver Coliseum, the Colorado Convention Center and Bellco Theatre, the Denver Performing Arts Complex, the McNichols Building and city libraries and rec centers.

Colorado is not the first place that AEG Presents has had to navigate tough government decisions about local shows.

"This is something we've been rolling out over different cities and states as they've been affected," says AEG Chief Communications Officer Dennis Dennehy. "We're honoring and falling in line with the recommendations with municipalities with how they want to handle this. If Colorado is asking us not to have more than 250 people, that's what we're going to do."

How AEG plans to weather the mass cancellations nationwide is still being sorted out, explains Dennehy, and the details are not yet available to the public.

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"We're in uncharted waters," he acknowledges. The company plans to reschedule as many concerts as possible.

Here's AEG Communications' complete Colorado statement:

Due to the recent COVID-19 mandate prohibiting mass gatherings of 250 people and above made by the Governor of Colorado, the events at the following venues have been impacted:

Bluebird Theater, Gothic Theatre, Ogden Theatre, Mission Ballroom, 1STBANK Center

The affected venues will remain closed until the date(s) specified by the State of Colorado and public health and safety officials, subject to ongoing reassessment.

Venues and events outside the end date of this moratorium may be impacted past the initial period, we will update as more information is available.

Our hope is that we are able to reschedule as many of the affected events as possible. For information regarding individual event dates during this applicable time period, up to date information will be reflected on each respective venue’s website and ticket pages. If new dates are announced, there is nothing ticket purchasers need to do: tickets are valid for the new date and ticket purchasers to each respective event will be notified.

If a show cannot be rescheduled once the moratorium is lifted, a refund will automatically be issued to the credit card you used to purchase, again within 30 business days. 

In response to queries about Polis's announcement, Live Nation, which is the other massive concert promoter in town and operates Summit, the Marquis Theater and the Fillmore Auditorium, and also books shows at Ophelia's Electric Soapbox and Levitt Pavilion, recycled a statement from March 11, after the company announced it would be canceling all big tours.

"We continue to support that small-scale events in these regions follow guidance set by their local government officials," the company wrote. "We feel fortunate to have the flexibility to reschedule concerts, festivals, and live events as needed, and look forward to connecting fans with all their favorite artists and live entertainment soon."

Despite that upbeat tone, Live Nation stocks have been plummeting, Billboard reports.

Here's Live Nation's complete March 11 statement:

The world's leading forces in live entertainment have come together to form a global task force to drive strategic support and unified direction ensuring precautionary efforts and ongoing protocol are in the best interest of artists, fans, staff, and the global community.

The task force includes Michael Rapino (CEO and President, Live Nation Entertainment), Dan Beckerman (President and CEO, AEG & Board Member, ASM Global), Jay Marciano (Chairman and CEO, AEG Presents), Rob Light (Managing Partner and Head of the Music Division, CAA), Marc Geiger (Partner and Head of Music, WME), Sam Gores (Chairman, Paradigm), Marty Diamond (Head of Global Music, Paradigm) and David Zedeck (Partner and Global Head Of Music, UTA).

At this time, we collectively recommend large scale events through the end of March be postponed. This recommendation is specific to the US and countries deemed level 3 by the CDC. We continue to support that small-scale events in these regions follow guidance set by their local government officials. We feel fortunate to have the flexibility to reschedule concerts, festivals, and live events as needed, and look forward to connecting fans with all their favorite artists and live entertainment soon.

Although Live Nation said it would work in the best interest of "artists, fans, staff and the global community," the promoter and the Pepsi Center moved forward with a Post Malone concert on March 12.

What should we expect in the days, weeks and months ahead? Dennehy says that's uncertain: "Forty-eight hours ago, did you think the NBA was going to call off this season?" 

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