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Hurricane Sandy takes its toll on live sector

Hurricane Sandy has left the the US live industry counting the financial cost of one of the US’s biggest storms ever, as gigs scheduled to take place in New York, and other towns and cities hit by Sandy were cancelled. But the extent of the impact the storm won’t be clear until the scale of damage to venues and public transport infrastructure is clear, and the time scales for restoring power to the large areas currently without electricity are known. It will also take some time for air travel across the US to get back to normal after the shut down of airports down the East Coast. Asked about the impact of the then approaching storm, AEG Live President Randy Phillips told Billboard yesterday “A major weather occurrence like Sandy is, obviously, disruptive both in the daily lives of the communities we work in and the clients we tour. It will have an impact on our budgets and earnings – if even in the short term, since we average a couple of hundred shows a week in those markets that have had to hunker down while the storm passes through”. Paul Bassman of entertainment insurance firm Doodson also confirmed to Billboard that he’d had many clients calling in the last 48 hours about their cover for storm-caused cancellations, although not every venue and promoter will be covered for storm-related losses, and while most artist contracts will not require fees be paid when extreme weather causes cancellations, any promoter canning or postponing events will incur losses.

8 Million on the East Coast remain without power and, more tragically, at least 46 people have died.