Clubs and live music venues across New York City have been forced to close as a result of a newly decreed order by mayor Bill DeBlasio.
Effective today (Tuesday, March 17th), these venues must temporarily close in order to help slow down the spread of the coronavirus, or COVID-19. "We are taking a series of actions that we never would have taken otherwise in an effort to save the lives of loved ones and our neighbors," DeBlasio said in a series of tweets. "Now it is time to take yet another drastic step.
"The virus can spread rapidly through the close interactions New Yorkers have in restaurants, bars and places where we sit close together. We have to break that cycle. Tomorrow (Monday, March 16th), I will sign an Executive Order limiting restaurants, bars and cafes to food take-out and delivery."
He continued: "Nightclubs, movie theaters, small theater houses, and concert venues must all close. The order will go into effect Tuesday, March 17 at 9:00 AM."
DeBlasio added that this was not a measure he had taken lightly but told New Yorkers that the city was "facing an unprecedented threat, and we must respond with a wartime mentality."
On Thursday, March 12th, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a number of mass gathering restrictions, that went into effect the following day. Among these restrictions was a ban on mass gatherings of over 500 attendees, and a requirement that events with under 500 individuals cut their capacity in half.
A number of New York clubs — including Nowadays, BASEMENT, Bossa Nova Civic Club, Avant Gardner, Good Room, and Elsewhere — have decided to close until further notice as a result of the order and the increasingly uncertain situation around the spread of COVID-19 in New York and elsewhere.
More than 500 cases have been reported in NYC to date, while there are more than 1000 across the state overall. These figures mean New York is currently the worst hit part of the US.
You can keep up with DJ Mag's reporting on how COVID-19 is affecting the worldwide electronic music scene here.