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Hollywood Bowl Cancels Summer Season, Furloughs 25% Of Staff

(Courtesy of LA Phil)
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The Los Angeles Philharmonic announced today it is cancelling its 2020 season at the Hollywood Bowl and Ford Theatre.

The decision, which the top executive said left them "broken hearted," marks the first time in the venue's history that a season has been cancelled. Concerts and other programs normally start in June and run through September.

As with the decision made earlier this year to cancel the remaining concerts for Disney Hall, L.A. Phil officials said it was made "in an effort to protect artists, audiences and staff from the spread of COVID-19."

"We are all broken hearted by the effects of this crisis and share the disappointment of all those who look forward to the Bowl and Ford seasons every year," CEO Chad Smith said in a statement. "As we deal with this public health emergency, our task now, which we share with all of Los Angeles, is to go forward with strength and resilience, knowing we will get through this with one another’s help."

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The cancellation will result in an estimated $80 million revenue loss. In anticipation of that, the association is furloughing approximately 25% of its full-time, non-union staff and laying off all seasonal Hollywood Bowl employees. Orchestra members will also be furloughed. Prior to this decision, the L.A. Phil had already laid-off all part-time staff and cut existing salaries by 35%.

Smith looked ahead to the future while acknowledging the immediate losses:

"The cancellation of our summer programs and the resulting impact on our musicians and staff is devastating... The L.A. 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."

Hollywood Bowl ticketholders will have the option of donating the value of their tickets to support the L.A. Phil's educational programs, including their youth orchestra. Ticketholders also have the option of receiving a full refund via the website.

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