The latest industry news to your inbox.

I'd like to hear about marketing opportunities


I accept IQ Magazine's Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy


Cardi B cancels headline Parklife appearance

As the rapper's string of post-plastic surgery cancellations hits Parklife, IQ asks insurers where such last-minute withdrawals leave affected events…

By IQ on 06 Jun 2019

Cardi B cancels Parklife

Parklife 2018

Cardi B will no longer appear at the UK’s Parklife festival this weekend, as the rapper continues to recover from cosmetic surgery procedures.

The ‘Bodak Yellow’ star, who recently underwent breast augmentation and liposuction, was scheduled to headline the 80,000-cap. Manchester event’s main stage on Saturday 8 June. In addition to the Parklife cancellation, the surgery caused the rapper to cancel her slot at Primavera Sound and postpone three concerts in the United States last month.

“We are very sorry for the late notice but have only just had confirmation that she will not be able to perform,” say Parklife organisers, who have not announced a replacement for Cardi B. “We all remain super-excited for Parklife this weekend and cannot wait to see you in a completely transformed Heaton Park.”

“It is certainly an original reason for cancellation,” Alesco director Paul Twomey tells IQ, adding that multi-act festivals are unlikely to be insured against the no-show of an individual act. “The festival will merely adjust the line-up in terms of set times and lengths or look to replace if time allows.”

However, Twomey adds, Cardi B’s reason for cancelling would be unlikely to be included in “a standard non-appearance policy” if in place, given that such policies “exclude cancellation as a result of elective surgery, as this would be deemed to be within the artist’s control.

Festivals may actually be better off “as the act would have to return their fee”

“There is a wider cover available that promoters and the like can take out which would pick this up as long as it was outside of the purchasing party’s control. Insurers would charge a higher premium for this,” says the insurance specialist.

“Cardi B has been advised to cancel on medical grounds following an allegedly non-essential operation. Much depends on when the operation happened and the surroundings of the ‘complications’ that have led to cancelling,” explains Martin Goebbels, head of Miller’s music and touring insurance team.

“If the operation were a while ago and total unexpected complications have occurred then possibly there would be grounds for an insurance claim. However, if it were very recent – particularly after any insurance policies were placed – it is likely any insurance would not pay if such an operation were deemed non-essential.”

In general, says Goebbels, a festival “may not suffer any loss” from an artist cancellation. In fact, events may be better off “as the act would have to return their fee”. Organisers then decide whether to keep the money or spend it on a replacement.

“Even if there were no replacement available,” continues Goebbels, “it is possible that festivals do not have to refund any money as they sell tickets for a ‘festival’ rather than a ‘headline artist’.”

The cancellation of individual shows, however, poses more difficulties.

“You know, I hate cancelling shows because I love money”

“If it were an artist’s own show, the promoter would not be insured so it becomes a legal situation to try and recover the promoter’s total loss,” explains Goebbels.

Addressing the May postponements, Cardi B posted on Instagram saying: “You know, I hate cancelling shows because I love money. But like, health is wealth, so I have to do what I have to do. My breasts gotta heal, and it is what it is.”

Parklife will make its fully updated schedule available via the festival app from 7pm on Friday 7 June.

Performers at this year’s sold-out festival include George Ezra, the Streets, Nas, Dave, Christine and the Queens, Solange and Major Lazer Soundsystem. Parklife takes place in Heaton Park, Manchester, on Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 June.

Festival director Jon Drape and co-founder Sacha Lord touted last year’s Parklife as the “best one yet”. Live nation acquired a majority stake in the festival, along with the Warehouse Project club nights that Lord co-founded with Parklife partner Sam Kandel, in 2016.


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.