Deadheads who were hoping to celebrate Phil Lesh‘s 80th birthday with the “Phil & Friends” weekend run of shows at The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, NY scheduled for March 13th-15th will now have to wait until summer, as event organizers have announced the postponement of all three performances this weekend due to the severe COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak in the nearby town of New Rochelle.
A statement shared by the venue on Wednesday night reads,
The Capitol Theatre and Phil Lesh have been closely monitoring the escalation of the Coronavirus outbreak. As much as we would like to celebrate Phil’s birthday with three shows this weekend, our first priority is the health and safety of the artists, our patrons, our staff, and the community. Given the spread of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in New Rochelle, which is part of The Cap’s Westchester county community, both The Cap and Phil have determined that the best course of action is to postpone these shows to the summer. We feel this is the right thing to do and we hope you understand our decision.
We are currently formulating our plan for next steps for ticket holders but we felt it was important to get this message out as soon as possible. We will follow up with all ticket holders with specific course of action in the next day or two.
The announcement on Wednesday evening comes just hours after fellow Grateful Dead-related act Joe Russo’s Almost Dead postponed a number of concerts originally scheduled to take place this weekend in Grand Rapids, MI; Madison, WI; and St. Louis, MO.
All around the world we are seeing live music events getting and negatively affected by the spread of COVID-19, which was officially designated as a pandemic by the World Health Organization on Wednesday.
Mass gatherings like concerts and festivals are rapidly being affected by the spread of COVID-19 as lawmakers and event promoters increasingly question their safety and viability. Dozens of large-scale festivals including Coachella, SXSW, and Ultra have already announced cancellations or postponements and hundreds of concerts and tours both large and small have already begun rescheduling to later in the year. It is not unlikely that in the coming days and weeks we may see many more gigs disrupted.