Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Postpones Induction Ceremony Over COVID-19

Coronavirus pandemic concerns close Ohio schools and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in Cleveland.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Photo: Photo by Duane Prokop/Getty Images

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony has been postponed due to concerns over the coronavirus pandemic. 

“The health and safety of our fans and visitors is our highest priority,” the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame said in a statement. “Given recent news regarding coronavirus and the urging by Ohio Governor Mike DeWine regarding large public gatherings, we have made the decision to postpone the 2020 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Induction Week festivities until later this year.”

While both the Rockin’ Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie flu can be contained within the auditorium, you can’t dance to COVID-19, and the musical organization takes that very seriously. This is the first time in the Rock Hall’s history it has not held the annual ceremony, which was scheduled to take place at Cleveland’s Public Hall on May 2. The 2020 class of honorees include Nine Inch Nails, Depeche Mode, The Doobie Brothers, T-Rex, Notorious B.I.G., and Whitney Houston.

The decision was made after County Executive Armond Budish declared a State of Emergency and Cleveland Mayor Frank G. Jackson issued a Proclamation of Civil Emergency this week, with the “goal of minimizing the impact, severity and duration of COVID-19 as it spreads.” “To me, the most important thing is minimizing the impact [of the coronavirus],” Mayor Jackson said in a statement.

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“We are very disappointed to announce the postponement of this year’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony,” Rock and Roll Hall of Fame president Joel Peresman told Rolling Stone. “Our first concern is to the health and safety of our attendees and artists and we are complying to the direction of the local and state authorities and common sense. We look forward to rescheduling the ceremony and will make that announcement at the earliest convenience.”

The Rock Hall promises they will release further details, including new dates and ticket information. The rescheduled HBO live broadcast of the event will be announced at a later date as well.

Tickets sold out within one hour after being made available last month. The Ceremony at Public Hall will honor tickets purchased through Ticketmaster for the rescheduled date. Tickets purchased through the Rock Hall will be refunded for any Induction Fest Gold Passes or Watch Parties. The organization will alert fans on how and when to buy those at a later date through email.

At press time there were four confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in Ohio, though DeWine has implemented a state of emergency and is prepping a public order that will limit mass gatherings in an effort to stop the spread of the disease.

The delay follows similar actions taken by the NBA, which suspended their season after two Utah Jazz players tested positive for the virus. Broadway has gone dark. SXSW, the Tribeca Film Fest, WonderCon and dozens of tours and festivals like Coachella have cancelled or postponed their events. Globally there have been 129,185 confirmed cases or the disease, and 4,749 deaths have been reported. The U.S. has reported 38 deaths.

There is no word yet on when the Rock and Roll Induction Ceremony is slated to be rescheduled.