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Animal Collective axe UK/European tour dates

Animal Collective have pulled the plug on their forthcoming UK and European tour, citing “inflation, currency devaluation, bloated shipping and transportation costs”.

The US band were due to kick off their outing on 2 November in Ireland, with dates in Brighton, Bristol, Manchester, Glasgow and London before moving on to Europe.

Last night (10 October) the quartet issued a lengthy statement saying they are “choosing not to take the risk to our mental and physical health with the economic reality of what that tour would have been”.

“We simply could not make a budget for this tour that did not lose money even if everything went as well as it could,” the statement read.

“We have always been the kind of people to persevere through the difficult times and get on stage unless our health prevented it… we hope you understand and that you know we would not make a choice like this lightly.”

“We are choosing not to take the risk to our mental and physical health with the economic reality of [the] tour”

Currency devaluation is a growing concern in the touring industry and was noted in a recent IQ interview with AEG Presents UK chief Steve Homer.

“One of the biggest things that’s causing us concern is the pound-to-dollar rate at the moment [the pound hit a record low against the dollar last month but has since rallied 10%],” he said. “We were almost on parity, which has not been something we’ve been familiar with for a long, long time. And it’s really biting in terms of artists touring over here – it becomes far more expensive for them to do it and it’ll be interesting to see how that impacts going forward.

Animal Collective’s statement comes after a slate of tour cancellations from SantigoldArlo ParksShawn MendesSam Fender, Russ, Wet Leg, DisclosurePlacebo, alt-J, Pale Waves and Anthrax, all of whom cited mental health and/or logistical difficulties as the reason.

At the same time, huge tour announcements are stacking up for 2023, with Pink, Depeche Mode, Iron Maiden, Lizzo, The 1975 and Dead & Company among the latest artists to confirm major tours.

Read Animal Collective’s full statement below.

 

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A post shared by Animal Collective (@anmlcollective)


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Santigold becomes latest artist to pull tour

Santigold has become the latest artist to pull the plug on a tour, citing a smorgasbord of issues that leave her “simply unable to make it work”.

Her North American tour, ‘Holified’, would have kicked off in Atlanta next month and wrapped up in California by November.

In a lengthy statement posted on her social media channels, the US artist has cited difficulties with inflation and the post-pandemic touring industry among the reasons for the cancellation.

She also said that the financial and emotional toll of touring after the pandemic has left her with “anxiety, insomnia [and] fatigue”.

“I will not continue to sacrifice myself for an industry that has become unsustainable for, and uninterested in the welfare of the artists it is built upon,” she wrote.

Santigold says she “thinks it’s important for people to know the truth of what it’s like out here for artists”

The US artist added that she “thinks it’s important for people to know the truth of what it’s like out here for artists,” and that she doesn’t “believe enough of us are talking about it publicly.” She also said that she’d further elaborate on the reasons for her cancellation in the future.

Santigold is one of many artists to cancel a tour or shows due to similar reasons. Arlo Parks, Shawn MendesSam Fender, Russ, Wet Leg and Disclosure all recently cancelled dates due to welfare concerns, while Placebo, alt-J, Pale Waves and Anthrax are among the acts to cancel due to “logistical issues”.

Santigold concluded her statement by assuring ticket holders that they’d receive refunds, as well as promising them access to her VIP membership for early releases, announcements and other “exclusive experiences… create[ed] just for this group.”

The singer’s Holified tour would have been in support of her fourth studio album, ‘Spirituals’, which was released earlier this month. She is represented by UTA in North America and Andy Duggan at WME rest of the world.

 


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Afropunk founder cancels new US festival LetsGetFr.ee

LetsGetFr.ee, a new US festival celebrating artists of colour, has been cancelled due to a variety of issues.

Conceived by Afropunk founder Matthew Morgan, the festival has been touted as a “radical movement designed for & by Black, Brown, Asian/Pacific Islander, & LGBTQIA+ fr.ee spirits & creator”.

The two-day ‘conscious carnival’ was scheduled to take place in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, New York City, in mid-August with artists including Missy Elliot, Anderson .Paak, Ozuna, Wizkid and Jhene Aiko.

“The reason is complex, yet simple: The combination of the shifting dynamics of our industry”

However, LetsGetFr.ee today (29 June) released a statement explaining that the festival’s debut will be pushed back to August 2023: “The reason is complex, yet simple: The combination of the shifting dynamics of our industry, the inflation we’re all feeling and new safety regulations that were recently put in place would have forced us to greatly alter your experience to a smaller, watered-down, inauthentic version.

“And that simply wouldn’t be doing right by the vision, the ambition, our partners and most importantly, you. LetsGetFr.ee was created to do something very different, a first-of-its-kind for the industry, for Queens and for the many vibrant, beautiful communities within and around us. And that’s exactly what we will do.”

Ticketholders have the option to hold on to their original ticket or request a refund. The festival says refunds are scheduled to be processed on or before 15 September.

 


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Splendour in the Grass endures first-day washout

The opening day of Byron Bay’s Splendour in the Grass festival was cancelled after being hit by adverse weather.

All performances on the main stages were cancelled, including sets by Gorillaz, The Avalanches, Kacey Musgraves, DMA’s, Yungblud and Jungle, amid what has been described as the worst weather in the Australian event’s 20-year history.

The remaining two days (23-24 July) of the 50,000-cap festival in North Byron Parklands, headlined by The Strokes and Tyler, the Creator alongside acts such as Glass Animals, Liam Gallagher and Jack Harlow, are currently set to proceed as planned.

“In the interest of patron safety and in consultation with all relevant emergency services, we have decided to err on the side of caution and cancel performances on the main stages today only – Amphitheatre, Mix Up, GW McLennan and Park(lands) Stages,” says a social media post by promoters.

“All of our destination spaces (Global Village, Tipi Forest, Forum, Comedy and Science tents etc.) will remain open today for patrons who are already onsite as well as those at our satellite campground at Byron Events Farm… Day patrons are asked not to attend to the festival today while we work on repairs.”

Ticketing firm Moshtix will be contacting ticket-holders directly with refund information in the coming weeks.

Splendour in the Grass co-founder Jessica Ducrou tells the Sydney Morning Herald the decision was vital to ensure the grounds could be repaired in time for Saturday’s and Sunday’s events.

“This is definitely the worst weather that we’ve experienced at Splendour in its 20-year history,” she says. “As quickly as the mud arrives, we are doing repair works during the event and after the event to try and keep the show operating.”

As a result of the conditions, thousands of festival-goers were forced to wait up to eight hours to get into the site on Thursday night (21 July), leading the main campsite to be closed to new arrivals, with those still queueing the next morning redirected to an off-site camping ground, 13km away. The Guardian reports that free bus shuttles were provided to help people get around the sites.

The festival, which is being held for the first time since 2019, was hit by controversy before it even began after ticket-holders received an email from ticketing company Moshtix, informing them that all festival-goers under the age of 18 now have to “be accompanied by a responsible adult at all times whilst at the event and campgrounds”.

Previously, only those under the age of 16 were required to be accompanied by an adult.

 


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‘Apocalyptic’ storms hit France’s Eurockéennes

The opening two days of France’s Eurockéennes de Belfort have been cancelled after falling victim to inclement weather.

The 35,000-cap festival was due to have hosted acts including Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, Stromae, Diplo, Joy Crookes, Big Thief and Girl in Red from 30 June to 1 July, but is now set to start at 4pm tomorrow (2 July).

Organisers say “sudden and unexpected” weather and strong winds caused significant damage to the festival campsite yesterday, including the main stage roof and Malsaucy peninsula.

“Damage caused by rain and strong winds requires meticulous verification of installations and structures, which is essential for everyone’s safety,” they add.

France Blue reports that seven people were injured in the storm, with one eyewitness describing the scenes as “apocalyptic”. Some 3,000 to 4,000 people were estimated to have arrived onsite at the time, with 1,500 to 2,000 festival-goers needing to be accommodated in a permanent structure for the night due to their tents being torn or blown away.

“The festival teams are making every effort to continue to welcome festival-campers in the best conditions”

The campsite has since reopened, with artists still scheduled to appear at the festival over the weekend including Muse, Foals, Simple Minds and Declan McKenna.

“The festival teams are making every effort to continue to welcome festival-campers in the best conditions,” adds a statement.

Thursday and Friday day ticket-holders will receive a full refund, with those with three-day and four-day passes receiving 66% and 55% refunds, respectively.

Eurockéennes 2020 and 2021 editions were both cancelled because of the pandemic.

 


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Quarantine issues put end to NZ’s biggest 2022 festival

The organisers of Bay Dreams are cancelling both summer dates due to difficulty securing quarantine spots for international acts.

The festival was set to be the biggest of the year, with an event in Nelson (cap. 13,000) on 3 January and an event in Tauranga (cap. 30,000) on 6 January.

The line-up was announced when NZ was operating a trans-Tasman travel bubble and included acts such as Australians Tash Sultana and Tones and I, as well as European electronic artists Chase & Status and Netsky.

“As it stands, there is much uncertainty around the trans-Tasman bubble and quarantine spaces are extremely difficult to obtain,” wrote promoter Audiology Touring in a statement. “A queue of 30,000+ people are trying to gain access to a few thousand rooms.”

“A queue of 30,000+ people are trying to gain access to a few thousand rooms”

“At a time like this we have two choices: we either promote something that is unlikely to proceed, or we shift into an event that we can confidently bring to life for you.”

In lieu of the flagship events, Audiology will be hosting two alternative events in the same cities on the same dates, with the few international acts that have secured quarantine places. Netsky, Hybrid Minds, Friction and Koven have been confirmed so far.

Refunds for Bay Dreams are underway and the new sales will go on show next Wednesday (20 October).

Audiology says it’s working on securing more rooms every week and will add more acts in a second announcement when isolation places have been secured.

 


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Bonnaroo cancels 2021 edition amid Hurricane Ida

This year’s Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival has been cancelled at the eleventh hour due to flooding from Hurricane Ida.

The Live Nation-owned festival was to be held in Tennessee, US, this week (2 to 5 September), with headliners Foo Fighters, Megan Thee Stallion, Tame Impala, and more.

In a statement posted on social media, the Bonnaroo team said it is “heartbroken” to pull the plug for a second consecutive year.

“While this weekend’s weather looks outstanding, currently Centeroo is waterlogged in many areas, the ground is incredibly saturated on our tollbooth paths, and the campgrounds are flooded to the point that we are unable to drive in or park vehicles safely,” reads the statement.

It continues: “We have done everything in our power to try to keep the show moving forward, but Mother Nature has dealt us a tremendous amount of rain over the past 24 hours, and we have run out of options to try to make the event happen safely and in a way that lives up to the Bonnaroo experience.”

“We have run out of options to try to make the event happen safely and in a way that lives up to the Bonnaroo experience”

The festival organisers revealed that Bonnaroo will return in June 2022 to mark its 20th anniversary.

The festival has historically been held in the month of June since 2002, however, this year’s edition was pushed back to September.

The festival last took place in 2019, when organisers welcomed around 70,000 attendees per day for the festival’s first sell-out since 2013.

While Hurricane Ida (a category four storm) has been making its way through the southern part of the country, the northeast is still reeling from Hurricane Henri which caused a slate of concert cancellations.

UK festival Standon Calling had similar bad luck with flash flooding, forcing organisers to pull the plug on the last day of the event. The boutique event took place from 22 to 25 July with headliners Bastille, Hot Chip, Primal Scream and Craig David’s TS5.

 


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Storm Henri disrupts US concert comeback

We Love NYC: The Homecoming Concert, the star-studded show held in New York’s Central Park on Saturday 21 August, became the biggest victim of Hurricane Henri, the tropical storm which battered New England and the north-eastern United States over the weekend.

The concert, first announced by the mayor of New York city, Bill de Blasio, in June, was put together by veteran label exec Clive Davis in association with Live Nation and was to have featured performances by Bruce Springsteen, Patti Smith, Paul Simon, the Killers, Jennifer Hudson, Run DMC, Carlos Santana, LL Cool J, Andrea Bocelli and more. However, the 60,000-strong crowd were asked to leave Central Park early – at around 8pm, during Barry Manilow’s set, and before Springsteen, Simon and the Killers could take the stage – as the heavens opened and lightning filled the sky.

While most tickets for the show were given free to New York residents, VIP tickets were available, priced between US$399 and $5,000, according to AP.

De Blasio acknowledged that “while it’s disappointing that tonight’s concert had to end early”, the lightning meant that authorities had no choice but to end the show early: “the safety of everyone in attendance had to come first.”

Other events were also called off after the state of New York declared a state of emergency on Saturday morning ahead of Henri (now downgraded to a tropical storm) making landfall.

Eagles’ highly anticipated return to Madison Square Garden, part of the band’s Hotel California tour, on Sunday (22 August) was cancelled by the arena, as was a Jason Mraz show at Mohegan Sun Arena (10,000-cap.) in Uncasville, Connecticut, the same night.

Elsewhere in Connecticut, Kiss’s show at the 30,000-capacity Xfinity Theatre in Hartford will now take place tonight (23 August) after being postponed from Sunday due to the hurricane.

Sporting events such as the PGA Tour golf tournament, which is in New Jersey, also cancelled or postponed scheduled fixtures.

 


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Norway’s 2021 festival season obliterated

Norway’s 2021 festival season has been effectively wiped out with the cancellation of Live Nation-owned festivals Bergenfest and Tons of Rock, Superstruct-backed Øya Festival, Over Oslo, Picnic in the Park, Stavernfetsivalen, Seljord Festival and Country Festival.

The cancellations come after the minister for culture last week (6 May) announced preliminary guidelines which would restrict festivals to 2,000 attendees until June, 5,000 attendees until August and 10,000 thereafter.

The restrictions come in spite of the government’s NOK 350m festival cancellation pot, which the minister said aims to “create predictability now, so that the industry can start planning different scenarios”.

“There is also uncertainty related to what the economic support schemes that include Bergenfest in practice”

Bergenfest, which would have take place between 15–19 June 2021 at Bergenhus Fortress in Bergen, was cancelled last night.

“With current restrictions on outdoor events in June, it is not possible to complete Bergenfest 2021 as we know the festival. There is also uncertainty related to what the economic support schemes that include Bergenfest in practice. It is therefore unfortunately time to confirm the inevitable – Bergenfest 2021 will not happen in June this year,” reads a statement on the festival’s website.

Bergenfest will return between 14–18 June 2022.

Øya Festival, which would have taken place between 10–14 August 2021 at Tøyenparken, Oslo, was cancelled the day after the proposed restrictions were revealed.

“It feels like a little nightmare to have to cancel Øya for the second year in a row”

“It feels like a little nightmare to have to cancel Øya for the second year in a row,” general manager Tonje Kaada wrote on the festival’s website. “Our big wish over the past year has been to gather artists, the audience, festival workers, volunteers and partners for a unique festival experience in Tøyenparken, but it will not be possible with the guidelines that the authorities presented this week.

“There is too much uncertainty associated with the existing framework, and even the best case scenario with 5,000 people, it’s not compatible with the audience experience Øya Festival wants to provide. We have no choice but to realize that it will not be happening in 2021. Even though we are sorry, it is a relief to be able to provide a clarification to everyone who has been waiting for it. We’ll roll up our sleeves and start over now.”

Øya will return between 10–13 August 2022.

Norway is the latest European market to pull the plug on the 2021 festival season, following widespread cancellations in Germany, the UK, Switzerland, Denmark and France.

 


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Poland’s Open’er festival cancelled again

Open’er, Poland’s largest annual music festival, has been cancelled for the second year running due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a statement, the organisers wrote: “This is a difficult moment for us. Another one in the midst of the pandemic. Over the last few months we have fought and done so much to make this year’s edition of the Open’er Festival possible. Although we are convinced that the return of the festival world is very close, we are losing this race against time.

“The process of recovering from the pandemic is progressing, vaccinations are ongoing, but unfortunately for obvious reasons, both local and international, the lack of a plan for the coming months and the restrictions in force – the beginning of July in Poland is not yet the time when we will be able to organize Open’er Festival in the scale and form you expect.”

Kendrick Lamar, Twenty One Pilots and A$AP Rocky would have headlined this year’s event at Gdynia-Kosakowo Airport in Gdynia between 30 June and 3 July.

“Although we are convinced that the return of the festival world is very close, we are losing this race against time”

Twenty One Pilots, however, have already been announced for next year’s 20th-anniversary edition.

Michael Kiwanuka, Destroyer, Badbadnotgood and Seasick Steve have also been confirmed for Open’er 2022, set to take place between 29 June and 2 July.

In the meantime, Open’er is planning a new event that will take place in Gdynia and span several weeks. The organisers say they will reveal more details in the coming weeks.

The cancellation of Open’er follows that of multi-venue festival World Wide Warsaw and electronic festival Undercity, both of which are promoted by Follow the Step.

At the time of writing, Fest Festival, Pol ‘and’ Rock and Wisloujscie are still set to go ahead.

 


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