CN Centre in holding pattern for shows

As there are no large gatherings allowed during the coronavirus pandemic, there will be no new concerts scheduled at the CN Centre for 2020.

On the current schedule are two postponed events from earlier in the year and a few events that organizers are hoping to hold, despite the cautious movement by health officials and political leaders to reopen the province.

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The two that are rescheduled for later in the year are Northern FanCon, set for Sept. 25 to 27 and Alice Cooper, set for Nov. 25.

The entertainment industry is fluid right now, said Glen Mikkelsen, manager of CN Centre.

"Venues around the world are trying to figure out different options but information keeps changing quite dynamically," Mikkelsen said. "So we here in Prince George are waiting to see what other major venues do - so the first ones we might see are overseas in China - what they do with their events and the American ones are looking at different options, as they're being a little more assertive trying to get their buildings up and operating again."

There are also a couple of European stadiums that are looking to host soccer games with no fans in the stands and only broadcast on television, he added.

"That's not something that's not necessarily as important for our venue but we can see how that evolves once they get those games rolling and then there might be an opportunity to have some people in the stands and then we can have a look how that modeling works."

Mikkelsen is part of weekly international discussion groups where information is shared from across North America.

"So far everybody is in hibernation mode waiting to see how things play out in the next few weeks," Mikkelsen said. 

When people are checking out the schedule of events listed at the CN Centre website they will notice the Saints and Sinners tour set for July 1 is still there, hoping for a miracle and that's because they are reluctant to postpone because of what it took for those bands to coordinate their schedules for the tour. I it won't be easy to set another date because of so many conflicting schedules so the event is pending.

As everyone is doing their part to keep people healthy now, he knows there will soon come a time where people gather to be entertained once again.

"You know it's how humans are made up," Mikkelsen said. "We want to get together in groups, we want to celebrate things, we want to cheer for our teams."

It's too early to say what it will look back for crowds gathering in the future but Mikkelsen said the provincial directives will guide BC residents.

He knows that bands relying on revenue from tours will be eager to get back on the road.

"This will provide terrific opportunities for fans to see all kinds of entertainment," Mikkelsen. "So we're in a bit of a hibernation - or doldrums - right now but once this is over I think there's going to be lots for people to look forward to." 

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