Hollywood Bowl Summer Season Falls Victim to Coronavirus

Aerials of Los Angeles

HOLLYWOOD (CNS) - For the first time in almost a century, the Hollywood Bowl will be silent this summer, with the Los Angeles Philharmonic announcing today the cancellation of the season due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association made the decision, citing the inability to hold its iconic events in a continuing environment of COVID-19 public health restrictions barring large gatherings.

Canceling the season will exacerbate continuing revenue losses for the Philharmonic, which stated that scrubbing the Hollywood Bowl season and shows at The Ford will leave the organization with an $80 million budget shortfall. In response, the L.A. Phil announced it will furlough 25% of its non- union workforce, as well as the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra through Sept. 30. Seasonal Hollywood Bowl employees are also being laid off.

The Philharmonic announced the creation of a “Play Your Part” fundraising campaign in hopes of raising $35 million to support the association's ongoing operations and programs, including the Youth Orchestra Los Angeles and other educational initiatives.

It is the first time in 98 years there won't be a summer concert season at the celebrated venue, which opened in 1922.

Hollywood Bowl performances are a long-standing Southern California summer tradition, for natives and implants alike.

The cancellation of the season is not a surprise, given the restrictions on public gatherings due to the coronavirus, but the news still comes as a sharp blow to fans of the classic music and other productions, and the accompanying picnicking and socializing.

“The Hollywood Bowl and The Ford are much more than performance venues. They are iconic places and represent summer traditions that have played a part in defining Los Angeles itself,” said Gail Samuel, president of the Hollywood Bowl and COO of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association. “It's deeply saddening to acknowledge that the 2020 summer season is gone, but the LA Phil isn't going anywhere. Our cultural community is among the most vibrant and creative in the world.

“We have every reason to look ahead with hope and confidence to next summer's centennial celebrations at the Hollywood Bowl and The Ford.”

Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl said the cancellation makes her “heartsick for all the county residents who have made the Bowl and the Ford a treasured ritual of each summer.”

People who have already purchased tickets for summer shows at the venues can contact the Philharmonic at informationlaphil.org or at 323-850- 2000 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Photo: Getty Images

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