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Academy of Country Music postpones awards show amid virus

NEW YORK (AP) — The show won't go on for the Academy of Country Music, after all. The academy said Sunday that it was postponing its annual awards show, which was to be held April 5 at the MGM Garden Arena in Las Vegas and televised on CBS, because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The plan now is to hold the show in September, at a date and venue to be determined. The academy “went to great lengths to find a safe solution for the show to go on," said Damon Whiteside, academy CEO. The decision to postpone came after “constant conversations” with everyone involved, he said.

It's the latest in a wave of events that were due to draw big audiences to fall by the wayside, given health advice for people to keep their social distance to avoid transmission. Keith Urban, Miranda Lambert, Elle King and Ashley McBryde were among the artists scheduled to perform on the show.

While the coronavirus causes only mild symptoms such as fever or cough for most people, in can cause more severe illnesses, particularly among older adults and people with existing health problems. The South By Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, was canceled over concerns of spreading the coronavirus, and the California-based music festivals Coachella and the country-themed Stagecoach are being postponed until the fall.

The Associated Press receives support for health and science coverage from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

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