Reports are suggesting that Hurricane Sandy is estimated to have caused damage of at least $20 billion, with a further $30billion in revenue lost by business do to the interruption. If these statistics are to be confirmed Hurricane Sandy will be the second-costliest Atlantic hurricane in history.
New York is a city which thrives of its live entertainment. Approximately 200 live events had to be cancelled or postponed in New York alone as Hurricane Sandy hit the east coast. A natural disaster like Hurricane Sandy has to ability to bring any industry to a temporary halt. It affected every major stakeholder involved in organising an event including venue owners and staff, promoters, booking agents, marketing and promotion staff, day staff, travel and accommodation companies, local authorities, councils and much more.
The aftermath of the hurricane has had a major impact on the live entertainment business in New York. Event organisers are now having to deal with a whole host of problems to try and get shows up and running again. One of the biggest setbacks Hurricane Sandy inflicted on the industry was issues involving venues. Due to power cuts, damage to venues and flooding there was a temporary shutdown of events and venues across New York. Venues such as AEG's Starland Ballroom and The Nikon at Jones beach theatre were most affected by the storm. According to an article written by Ray Waddle on The Billboard website ‘‘the loss is significant-likely tens of millions of dollars-in terms of property damage to venues like the flooded Nikon at Jones Beach Theatre in Wantagh, N.Y’’ . Venues which have taken a lot of damage will now be out of use for a considerable amount of time.
A whole host of events succumbed to the storm. The New York Marathon, which was due to take place on Sunday 4th November, was cancelled whilst the New York's Village Halloween Parade, held annually on October 31, was also cancelled due to blackout conditions in Greenwich Village. Performances at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Centre, Metropolitan Opera and Radio City Music Hall where all terminated. Official sporting events such as the National Basketball Association League game between the Brooklyn Nets and the New York Knicks and the Football match between Red Bull New York and DC United in the Major league soccer playoffs had to be postponed to later dates. All 40 Broadway theatres had to be closed temporally. Furthermore The Apollo Theatre was forced to postpone its Amateur Night finale, which was due to take place on the 7th of November, by a week as Apollo president and CEO Jonelle Procope said finalists weren’t able to travel to the event. Even the presidential campaigns of Barack Obama and Mitt Romney had to be out on hold as the president issued a ‘state of emergency’
Even though the hurricane has passed the aftermath has left New Yorks Live Entertainment Business struggling to get up and running again. Ray Waddle goes on further state in his Billboard article, ‘‘When ticket prices, talent costs and marketing expenses are taken into consideration, $10 million-$20 million isn't a hard number to reach in terms of assessing damages, and the financial hit is probably much bigger’’. Companies of all sizes have taken a hit. Randy Phillips, the CEO of the world’s second largest events promotion company, AEG Live says" Sandy will have an impact on our budgets and earnings, if even in the short term, since we average a couple hundred shows a week in those markets that have had to hunker down while the storm passes through. For big events promotion companies such as A.E.G Live and Live Nation business will return to normal once the aftermath of the storm passes as they have the financial resolve to do so, however the hit for smaller events companies or one time promoters could potentially be devastating. Losses of profits from cancelled shows are just the start of the event…