Hurricane Sandy carved its way through the Northeast of America yesterday, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake as it tore up New York City. While the dubbed “Frankenstorm” makes its way toward inland America, the recovery efforts begin on the coast as the extent of the damage the raging storm has caused becomes clear.
From widespread power outages affecting millions, entire subway lines being submerged underwater, to electrical fires sparking in Queens -burning whole neighbourhoods to rubble, it seems the one-of-a-kind storm took no prisoners.
The entertainment industry was no exception.
Johnny Mackay, lead signer of ARIA nominated Australian band Children Collide, lives in New York’s East Village – on the border of the destruction but also on high enough ground to avoid evacuation. Posting on the band’s Facebook page, Mackay gave fans an image of what’s going on in the Big Apple:
“It’s been an epic old time here in NYC. Troupes of soldiers marching about blocking roads, cops in weird uniforms I’ve never seen, massive lines in lightless, candlelit shops, no power, no hot water, debris everywhere. We walked 80 blocks to our friends place uptown to charge shit. Thank god for candles.
As The Australian reports, Mackay said New Yorkers are “freaking out” about the storm, but Aussies are “much more relaxed.”
“Everyone thinks it’s the end of the world,” he said. “The supermarkets have been ransacked; every single aisle was a line of people waiting to get to the checkout.” Mackay and his bandmates stocked up on “bottles of water… chocolate and ice-cream. We should probably take it more seriously. We have a natural disaster every two weeks in Australia, so it’s not such a big deal to us.”
He says the biggest worry for him is if the electricity gets knocked out, which could probably prove an annoyance when trying to record music.
Also announced this morning during the live coverage of the storm’s activity is how even the Boss can’t beat Sandy, with the rock star cancelling a major headlining gig in the wake of the disaster. Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band were forced to can their concert scheduled at the Rochester Blue Cross Arena in upstate New York, postponing until Wednesday because of a flight cancellation to the event.
Springsteen’s concert is just one of many that has been affected by Hurricane Sandy, with live music events in New Jersey, Boston, Philadelphia and Washington D.C also being rescheduled or cancelled entirely. As Billboard reports, it could cost the concert business millions in marketing and promotion expenses and lost or delayed profits.
“I’m getting lots of questions today: ‘What does our policy cover?’, ‘what happens if?’ type questions,” says Paul Bassman, president of Dallas-based entertainment insurance firm Doodson Insurance Brokerage. “Nothing’s really happened yet, but in New York City alone, if the subways are shut down, you can’t have shows.”
So who gets hurt? According to Bassman, “Everyone’s going to take a hit, but it’s part of the business. That’s why we’re here.”
Another sector that was hit by the Frankenstorm was New York’s iconic Broadway theatre district. It has stated it will re-open tomorrow, after being suspended ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Sandy. Some of the city’s most popular musicals, including Jersey Boys, Wicked and The Phantom of the Opera will go ahead, while other favourites Mary Poppins and The Lion King remain cancelled, the official Broadway League industry group said in a statement.
Rolling Stone has also reported that popular venues like Carnegie Hall, Radio City Music Hall, and the Lincoln Centre have all cancelled events, including postponements from indie darlings The xx and Grimes, as well as hip hop luminary Yasiin (aka Mos Def). While David Byrne & St. Vincent were forced to postpone their appearance on The Late Show With David Letterman, when many of their backing musicians were stranded from flight cancellations.
As postponements and rescheduling continues throughout the week in New York, an ocean liner vacation-come-concert experience helmed by rock band KISS is making the most to fix their problems. Ticket holders for the KISS Kruise II need not fear: they’re working very hard to create a safe departure for travellers.
“We’re working with Norwegian Cruise Line to delay our departure time from Miami on Wednesday, as well as an alternate destination port to allow guests to meet the Kruise on Friday should they miss their Miami embarkation,” the official website explains. ”Please know we’re putting all efforts into making sure this long-awaited vacation is everything it should be… The weather forecast for the Bahamas and Caribbean looks beautiful for our vacation so do your best to get here safely and know we’ll be looking forward to seeing you.”
It’s not all blue skies and ocean (rock) shanties ahead; unfortunately, the destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy has claimed at least 48 lives.
If you’re worried about a loved one in the affected areas of the US, experts are encouraging the use of SMS messaging and social media such as Facebook and Skype as opposed to actual phone calls, due to the power outages from the wake of the hurricane’s destruction.
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