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Music events called off following Queen’s death

Spate of cancellations announced as mark of respect, but Cabinet Office advises "no obligation" to cancel or postpone events

By James Hanley on 09 Sep 2022

Queen Elizabeth II

image © Kenroy Ambris/Commonwealth Secretariat/Flickr

A number of music events have been cancelled or postponed as a mark of respect in the wake of the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

The UK’s longest-serving monarch passed away yesterday afternoon aged 96 at the royal residence in Balmoral, Scotland, following a 70-year reign, with the throne immediately passing to her eldest son, King Charles III.

A period of National Mourning has now started and will continue until the end of the day of the State Funeral – expected to be held in Westminster Abbey on Monday 19 September.

The Queen’s death was announced at 6.30pm, prompting that night’s Mercury Prize ceremony – held at the Eventim Apollo in Hammersmith, London – to be cancelled with guests already in the venue. Eleven of the 12 nominated acts nominated for album of the year, including Little Simz, Sam Fender and Self Esteem, had been due to perform at the event, which was set to be broadcast live on the BBC.

Elsewhere, Thursday evening’s Proms at the Royal Albert Hall was called off 30 minutes before it was due to start, and the BBC has announced Friday and Saturday’s closing concerts of the eight-week classical music series will no longer take place.

The public service broadcaster has also cancelled BBC Radio 2 Live in Leeds, which was scheduled to take place from 17-18 September with artists such as Robbie Williams, Nile Rodgers + Chic, Tears for Fears, Kaiser Chiefs and George Ezra.

The Cabinet Office says there is no obligation to cancel or postpone events… or close entertainment venues during the National Mourning period

Arcade Fire’s show at The O2 in London went ahead as planned, although a boxing event due to be held tomorrow night is now being rescheduled for October. The English Premier League and Football League have also postponed this weekend’s round of fixtures.

Despite the cancellations, the Cabinet Office says there is no obligation to cancel or postpone events and sporting fixtures, or close entertainment venues during the National Mourning period, with the decision left to the discretion of individual organisations.

“As a mark of respect, organisations might wish to consider cancelling or postponing events or closing venues on the day of the State Funeral,” states the official guidance. “They are under no obligation to do so and this is entirely at the discretion of individual organisations.

“If sporting fixtures or events are planned for the day of the State Funeral, organisations may want to adjust the event timings so they do not clash with the timings of the funeral service and associated processions. As a mark of respect, and in keeping with the tone of National Mourning, organisers may wish to hold a period of silence and/or play the National Anthem at the start of events or sporting fixtures, and players may wish to wear black armbands.”

Multiple live music organisations including UK Music, the Music Venue Trust and the Association of Event Organisers have paid tribute to the Queen in the wake of her passing along with venues such as Wembley Stadium, The O2, AO Arena Manchester and OVO Arena Wembley.

Rod Stewart, Queen + Adam Lambert, Alicia Keys, Hans Zimmer, Ella Eyre, Craig David and Mabel were among the artists to perform at the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee concert at Buckingham Palace in June.


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