The coronavirus threat is touching every corner of the entertainment industry. So far, movie theaters, concerts and nightclubs have not been affected. But as more confirmed cases arise, some music industryites are wondering what the next few months may bring.
The SXSW conference is getting out ahead of the news. The Austin, Texas festival, set for March 13-22, combines separate film, technology and music elements for a weeks-long extravaganza that annually lures thousands to the city. On Friday, the show organizers issued an advisory on the convention to attendees and those wondering whether they should move forward with plans.
On a side note, the Game Developers Conference, Facebook’s F8 and several other technology conferences announced they were postponing or cancelling their events this week. Logic dictates it’s only a matter of time before that bleeds over into entertainment, particularly as the summer concert season approaches and plans must be made.
This week in music:
SXSW ISSUES ADVISORY: According to a webpage titled “attendee safety,” the SXSW 2020 event “is proceeding as planned. The World Health Organization’s recommendation is that travelers practice usual precautions, and we are increasing our efforts to help prevent the spread of disease per Austin Public Health’s recommendations. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and will provide updates as necessary.
“Austin Public Health said it will continue to communicate with the CDC and health departments nationwide as many cities host large events. “At this time, no health departments in the state have requested the cancellation of any gatherings, as the current risk of person-to-person spread in their jurisdictions remains low.
“Historically, March is not a peak international travel month in Austin, but we will continue to monitor. Information and practices are changing during this rapidly evolving situation and we will continue to follow national guidelines. This being said, there are no imminent plans to postpone any current events.”
PARAMOUNT DIANE WARREN DRAMA: Deadline’s Mike Fleming reports exclusively that Paramount has acquired an untitled musical drama from songwriter Diane Warren, based on her original music. Tamara Chestna is writing the script. Warren will produce with Universal Music Group’s Polygram Entertainment. Warren, a member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, has been nominated for 11 Oscars, most recently this year for her original song “I’m Standing with You” for the film Breakthrough and before that for “Stand Up for Something” for the 2017 film Marshall, and she teamed with Lady Gaga for “Till It Happens to You“ for 2015’s The Hunting Ground. Polygram’s Jody Gerson and David Blackman will join Warren as producers on the project, which will be based on Warren’s catalog as well as new songs.
PELOTON SETTLEMENT: The National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) and exercise bike maker Peloton have settled litigation brought last year by 14 NMPA members that alleged copyright infringement. Peloton and the trade association have entered into “a joint collaboration agreement” and will work together to “further optimize” Peloton’s music licensing systems and processes.