The country music business took it on the chin at home and on the road over the last week as the genre's home base suffered a devastating tornado on March 3 and the coronavirus outbreak caused cancellations in other markets.
The tornado destroyed numerous private planes at the John C. Tune Airport; decimated Donelson Christian Academy, where Lady Antebellum's Hillary Scott attended school; and hit a Kroger grocery store that numerous road bands use to board their tour buses. Dierks Bentley rolled up his sleeves and pitched in to help clear the wreckage at the home of his drummer, Steve Misamore, as several sections of the city and its suburbs — particularly East Nashville, the Donelson/Hermitage area and Mt. Juliet — took on the most damage.
Even as the city reeled from that first jab, the spreading coronavirus began to encroach on the country industry. Old Dominion canceled a U.K. tour, and the Nashville Songwriters Association International postponed its annual Tin Pan South Songwriters Festival March 24-28. That rescheduling occurred as airline and cruise line bookings are slumping, Austin's South by Southwest Conference was canceled, and numerous entertainment stocks dropped dramatically to their lowest levels in a year.