Elton John returned to the stage this week for the first time in nearly two years, and big names including Billie Eilish and Justin Bieber are getting ready to tour around the world.
But as the live music business was preparing for a rebound from COVID-19 this year, 15-time Grammy winner Adele tearfully announced the pandemic had forced a last-minute postponement of her highly anticipated residency at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.
The surprise announcement underscored the fragility of live music’s recovery from a pandemic that keeps going, and it disappointed thousands of fans who had scored pricey tickets to sold-out shows that were due to start on Friday.
Adele said COVID-19 had infected half of her crew and the pandemic had caused delivery delays. Performances by the “Rolling in the Deep” singer had been seen as a bellwether for Las Vegas residencies, once reserved for stars at the end of careers but now a sought-after gig for top musicians.
“It was really important to Vegas,” said Jem Aswad, deputy music editor for Variety. “Vegas was hit harder than most cities simply by nature of its of its industry and its business.”