The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association announced that the Hollywood Bowl has been canceled for the 2020 summer season due to restrictions laid out following the coronavirus pandemic. The announcement was made on May 13 and it is the first time in 98 years that the Hollywood Bowl will be closed for the entire season.

Since its opening in 1922, the Hollywood Bowl, the premier destination for live music in Southern California, has not been closed for more than two weeks in 100 years. The most popular amphitheater in the Hollywood Hills will be closed for this season mainly because of a lack of resolution on the coronavirus crisis.

The statement from Los Angeles Philharmonic Association cited that the 2020 seasons at the Hollywood Bowl and the Ford have been canceled in an effort to protect artists, audiences, and staff from the spread of COVID-19.

Orchestra facing a financial crisis

Hollywood Bowl ampitheatre
Hollywood Bowl ampitheatre in the Hollywood Hills will be closed for the summer season of 2020 due to coronavirus pandemic. Wikipedia

The summer season shows are usually scheduled from June to September in the Hollywood Bowl as well as the Ford. Reports claimed that the orchestra is currently facing an $80M budget deficit. To survive programmer LA Phil announced that it is sending at least 25 percent of its non-union workers on leave of absence till the end of September. There are chances of laying off staff to keep the amphitheater functioning.

In fact, all non-essential expenses have been already cut and part-time staff has been sacked. In addition, the Association has also reduced the salary of employees retained by 35 percent. "It's deeply saddening to acknowledge that the 2020 summer season is gone, but the LA Phil isn't going anywhere," Gail Samuel, President of the Hollywood Bowl and COO of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association said.

'Play Your Part' campaign

To ease the financial crisis, the Association is launching "Play Your Part," a campaign worth $35M. This money will be used to keep educational programs including LA Phil's Youth Orchestra Los Angeles program. These initiatives serve at least 150,000 teachers, youth, and families.

"The LA Phil has been here for more than 100 years, and the Hollywood Bowl and The Ford for almost as long. We are doing what is necessary to ensure that we are all here for the next century," said Chad Smith, Association CEO and David C Bohnett, chief executive officer chair in a joint statement.