The Los Angeles Philharmonic announced on Wednesday that it will be cancelling the Hollywood Bowl’s summer 2020 season due to the coronavirus. Since the venue first opened 98 years ago it has never gone more than two weeks between shows during its summer season.
The venue is managed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, the same association for the Los Angeles Philharmonic orchestra. The Hollywood Bowl first opened in 1922 and is located in the Hollywood Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles.
“In response to the latest guidance of public health officials in an effort to protect artists, audiences and staff from the spread of COVID-19, the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association is canceling the 2020 seasons at the Hollywood Bowl and The Ford,” the LA Phil announced in a press release.
The Hollywood Bowl also made a statement on Twitter, explaining they felt it was best to close for the safety of their performers, employees and audience members. The Twitter statement also inquires if fans would be willing to donate, as the LA Phil is a nonprofit association.
— Hollywood Bowl (@HollywoodBowl) May 13, 2020
“The Hollywood Bowl is managed by the LA Phil, a non-profit organization,” the statement on Twitter reads. “If you are able, please consider donating your tickets to support the LA Phil’s work enriching lives through our music and learning and community programs including YOLA.”
The Hollywood Bowl website states that all concerts scheduled from June 6 through September 26 are cancelled. The result of cancelling shows is expected to give the LA Phil an $80 million budget shortfall. The LA Phil will also be furloughing 25 percent of its non-union workforce, as well as the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. Seasonal Hollywood Bowl employees will be laid off.
Prior to their announcement of cancelling the Hollywood Bowl’s 2020 summer season, the LA Phil cancelled the remainder of their 2019-2020 season at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, resulting in 94 part-time employees being laid off and a $9 million loss or revenue. During these layoffs and cancellations, the music and art director for the LA Phil, Gustavo Dudamel, will not be receiving compensation while the leadership team received a 35 percent pay cut.
Before now, the Hollywood Bowl only had a break in shows once. In July 1951, after a financially unsuccessful production of Strauss’ “Die Fledermaus,” the venue was forced to close for 12 days in order to save money. They were eventually saved by philanthropist Dorothy Chandler, who spearheaded a campaign to save the Hollywood Bowl. Chandler is a famous LA figure and cultural leader. The Dorothy Chandler Pavilion was named after her and is one the three largest performing arts centers in the United States, hosing more than 20 Academy Awards and now the home of the LA Opera.
The KCRW were set to host their annual KCRW World Festival at the Hollywood Bowl this year, kicking off in late June with Andrew Bird with Calexico and Iron & Wine and wrapping up in mid-August with John Fogerty and Robert Randoph.
The Hollywood Bowl was also meant to host the Playboy Jazz Festival on June 7 and 8,Fourth of July Fireworks with The Beach Boys, School of Rock, Ozzy Osbourne and many more. Halsey rescheduled her June 10 date at the Hollywood Bowl to 2021 and Andrea Bocelli postponed his shows as well.
Photo credit: Orlando Romero