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After Hurricane Irma, the Show (Mostly) Goes On For Florida’s Music Industry

South Florida's music business slowly but surely awakens after the hurricane.

Disney on Ice had to bow out of Orlando the weekend of Hurricane Irma and out of Broward’s BB&T Center this week. Next week, it won’t come to Miami either.

The reason? Due to the hurricane, in Miami at least, the American Airlines arena wasn’t able to make the ice needed to stage the show. The arena suffered no structural damage, but the hurricane certainly hampered the usual flow of events. 

Although Depeche Mode are still slated to perform tomorrow (Sept. 15) Nicky Jam’s nearly sold-out show Sept. 16 was rescheduled. All told, Jam rescheduled three upcoming East Coast shows — in Reading, Penn. (Sept. 15), Miami (Sept. 16) and Orlando (Sept. 17) — as a result of logistics issues arising from impaired travel. Jam’s Houston show Sept. 8 was canceled as well after Hurricane Harvey. Elsewhere, the Broward Center for the Performing Arts rescheduled at least one performance. 

Those were a few of the casualties Irma left in its wake. All shows scheduled for the weekend of Sept. 8 were canceled in venues from Miami to Orlando, including a Modest Mouse show at the Hard Rock Orlando, and several dates slated for this upcoming weekend have also been rescheduled or canceled.

At the same time, most Latin label operations have been at a standstill or almost at a standstill, with offices closed and without power after the storm. Many people have also been physically unable to return to Miami, Broward and Orlando as air travel has resumed at an excruciatingly slow pace.

Universal and Warner, for example, only reopened their beach offices today (Sept. 14). Sony, located in the equally-battered neighborhood of Coconut Grove, was also shuttered until today and CAA’s Miami offices are still closed.

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Although business was happening via email or, erratically, cellphone, things still managed to happen with surprising resiliency. On Sept. 8 — Irma’s D-day for many cities — Yandel released the video and single “Como Antes,” a collab with former partner Wisin. It already has over 36 million views.

And tomorrow (Sept. 15), is the release date for Shakira’s new video with Nicky Jam. Likewise, Ozuna is playing, as planned, his two sold-out shows at Puerto Rico’s coliseum Sept. 15 and Sept. 16.

Still, many on-site promotions across the country were canceled as artists could not find a way to fly out of Miami, and those cancelations, in turn, had ripple effects.

Gente de Zona, for example — who are in the middle of their first major U.S. tour — had to reschedule their Sept. 7 show in Boston when their travel was impacted, which led the group to reschedule three subsequent shows Sept. 8 in Washington, D.C., Sept. 9 in New York and Sept. 10 in Connecticut. New dates will be announced soon.

At the iconic Fillmore in Miami Beach, shows by Andres Cepeda and Paramore were rescheduled for Sept. 30 and December 6, respectively. The venue suffered some flooding and wind damage and is currently in the process of assessing all systems. But this isn’t the first time the Fillmore has to deal with lousy weather effects. 

“We have protocols in place, especially when it comes to checking on all our staff’s wellbeing after a tragic experience like this hurricane,” said Carlos Orjuela, national talent buyer for Live Nation.

And across the bridge, the Arsht Center for the Performing Arts opened its doors to business with plans to kick off its new season Sept. 17 as planned. “At this moment, the Arsht Center is pleased to announce that all performances will be presented as anticipated,” read a notice on its website.