Tuesday 11 May 2021
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Entertainment industry feels the corona pinch

From concert cancellations to film and TV delays, nearly every facet of the entertainment industry has been impacted by the coronavirus outbreak.


The Covid-19 pandemic has rocked the entertainment industry, causing the cancellation of major events and leaving the future of others in doubt.


Film, television and music have all been hugely affected, with experts warning the cost of the crisis will total billions of pounds.


Speaking to an industry expert in Windhoek yesterday, he proclaims that the forced cancellations of events is hitting the industry very hard.


“We are held back by the uncertainty of it all. In as much as events are cancelled, we don’t really know how long for, or until when. It makes the logistical aspect difficult too, because when you organise as international artist, for example, they will need to be flown into the country, hotel bookings, media engagements etc need to be arranged in advance. Also, since the whole world seems to be on lockdown, it probably means that when the restrictions are lifted world over, it will mean that every organiser is trying to get their show back on track. It has the potential of being chaotic if not managed properly.”


As inconsequential as it may seem to some, the cancellation of music shows, weddings, poetry sessions, comedy nights, etc, it can cause havoc to the lives and finances of the individual people involved in those events.


The Lounge spoke with radio DJ Azeal ‘Cheeze’ Mastoarelle who is making peace with the new normal. “It is hard man; especially for us entertainers. Events are being cancelled left right and centre. In fact, just about every event I was supposed to host for the next 30 days has been cancelled. There are some events that I have been paid for in advance and I have to negotiate with those people about how to go about it.


These shows are a supplement to one’s income and you rely on it, so when that is cut off, you have to alter the financial decisions that you make, and it is strenuous. It also doesn’t help that the schools are also closed. Kids are home and they are eating more and who knows just how long that situation will last. It really is just a tough situation.


At work we are pre-recording shows and making the most of this bad situation. Unfortunately, it is what it is, and we have to be safe and be as prepared as we can be.”


MTC’s Fikameni Mathias advises that we keep calm and be optimistic. Speaking to us from where he is self-quarantined at home, Mathias says, “we have just postponed the independence celebration concert. This is Namibia’s 30th year of independence and the concert will hopefully still take place this year, soon. The NAMA’s are scheduled to happen only after the 30 day’s announcement that the President made, so we haven’t made an announcement yet on that one. It depends on how the situation looks forward. It is unfortunately unpredictable, but all the events that we sponsor as an entity are cancelled, from boxing, to other social events. The situation is beyond our and beyond the other parties’ control and we just have to roll with the punches.”


In Namibia alone:


MTC’s 30th Independence concert has been postponed

Street Markets have been suspended for at least the next 30 days.

Burna Boy concert has been postponed; a new date is to be announced in due course.

Football has been suspended until further notice.

Many restaurants and pubs, clubs, bars will operate with a skeleton staff and for limited hours.

Weddings are being postponed.


Internationally, the Coachella music festival has been postponed, the release date of James Bond film No Time To Die has been delayed, and high-profile stars including Tom Hanks and Idris Elba have tested positive for coronavirus.


One of the biggest movies of the year, Bond film No Time To Die, had its release postponed from April to November.


A Quiet Place II and Fast & Furious 9 were both delayed.

A Quiet Place II did not receive a new date, while Fast & Furious 9 will now arrive in April 2021.


The world-famous Coachella music festival has been pushed back from its original April date to October. Country music festival Stagecoach suffered the same fate.


Teen pop sensation Billie Eilish has been forced to postpone a string of US tour dates.


Sir Elton John cancelled more than a dozen concerts in Canada and the US, which had been set to take place in March, April and July as part of his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour. The concerts are being postponed until a later date.


This is our new normal.

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