Las Vegas COVID-19 Outbreak Sees Major Shows Suspended
Las Vegas is facing a new wave of COVID-19 disruptions this week, with several high-profile performances postponed.
Famous Nevada casino venues on the Las Vegas Strip, such as Wynn Las Vegas, Caesars Palace, and Park MGM have all had upcoming performances disrupted or canceled because of infections among crew or staff.
Performers affected include national stars like comedians Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon, and Stephen Colbert, Steve Martin and Martin Short, and hit singer Adele.
“Well, Las Vegas, I got Covid, and sadly, we need to cancel this weekend’s Strike Force Three show,” wrote Kimmel, posting on X.
“I could never live with myself if I got my hometown friends sick. Thanks to all who purchased tickets, everyone will get full refunds and we will try to reschedule if possible.”
The resurgence of COVID-19 across the U.S. has been troubling some experts as we head into fall. This week, the Biden administration announced the reopening of the free COVID rapid testing service to help combat the new outbreak.
It is also unwelcome news for Las Vegas, which saw unprecedented losses when its casinos were completely closed for nearly 80 days because of pandemic lockdowns in 2020. Upon their reopening, they faced many further restrictions until June 2021’s full lifting of Nevada’s pandemic rules.
Now, in 2023, the Live! Strike Force show, which was scheduled to be broadcast from the Jimmy Kimmel Comedy Club at Park MGM, was canceled after Kimmel himself caught the virus.
This decision was made just hours before the show was set to air, leaving fans and attendees disappointed.
Similarly, Steve Martin and Martin Short’s You Won’t Believe What Comes Next! show, which was to be held at Wynn Las Vegas, was also postponed because of illness.
“Unfortunately, our sold-out shows at the Wynn in Las Vegas this Friday and Saturday has to be postponed because of rampant Covid in our crew and one other essential guy,” Martin wrote on social media.
That other essential guy presumably being himself or Short. The comedian also couldn’t resist cracking a joke at the situation while promising fans their tickets would rearranged.
“Your tickets will be honored with an added date-moving tax of nine thousand dollars,” Martin wrote.
Adele’s Show “Hanging on for Dear F***ng Life”
Meanwhile, COVID hasn’t quite done in the remaining dates of Adele’s residency at Caesars Palace. But the global hit singer has altered her live show to ensure she isn’t struck down with the virus.
Following a recent outbreak of the virus at the Caesars Entertainment-owned venue, the British artist has decided to halt taking selfies and conversing up-close with fans, which is a regular feature at her gigs.
The self-confessed germaphobe is aiming to prevent postponement of the performances, with backup singers and other crew members catching the virus.
The internationally renowned singer is almost finished with her five months of residency at Caesars, which is due for its final show in November.
Even with show crew “dropping like flies,” canceling the show would leave the fans “f***ing p***ed off,” Adele was quoted as saying in various media outlets.
“Normally, I would absolutely stop and chat and all of that, and I’m (hearing) all about your life and be the nosey person that I am. However, I am hanging on by thread trying not to get Covid.”
This bad news for Las Vegas comes in a month when its two biggest casino operators, MGM International and Caesars Entertainment, are grappling with the fallout from ransomware cyberattacks against their operations.
Caesars paid a hefty ransom to avoid disruption. MGM did not. The largest U.S. gambling company was still feeling the heat this week, despite announcing most of its services were back to normal as of September 20.