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How Will Pop Music Respond to the Coronavirus?

The global spread of the coronavirus has been seismic, overburdening health care systems, torpedoing stock markets and requiring millions of people to submit to severe restrictions on their personal movement. The world has changed drastically in the last few weeks, and will continue to be disrupted for some time.

It has been painful for the live music business as well — festivals, including Coachella, Glastonbury and South by Southwest, have been canceled or postponed; live tours from huge acts down to tiny indie artists have been forced to reschedule, creating devastating consequences for the musicians and those who work behind the scenes on the road.

On this week’s Popcast — recorded from various home offices, connected virtually — a conversation about how the coronavirus has already reshaped the year in pop music, and the dominoes that yet may fall. Also, a chat about how pop stars have rallied around global crises in the past, and what a response like that might look like in the social media age.


  • Ben Sisario, The New York Times’s music industry reporter

  • Jon Pareles, The New York Times’s chief pop music critic

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