Wednesday, October 28, 2015

I Told You I Was Ill: When Bands Cancel The Tour

Words: Alison Mack

There comes a time in every artist's life where even the spirit may not feel willing and able to get up and get going ahead with that hefty tour schedule. Whether the pressures are mental, physical or due to over-indulgence in one or more illegal substances, broken limbs, or sheer can't-be-arsed, sometimes the show just can't go on.

2015 seems to have been a particularly bad year for ills, spills and woes, as a raft of tours have been cancelled.  With today's news that Waxahatchee - Katie Crutchfield - has cancelled all of her of upcoming European tour dates in support of Kurt Vile due to health issues, as well as Conor Oberst's Desaparecidos, we look back at the others who have fallen prey to the tour curse.


Label Wichita Records posted the following on their website today (October 28):

We are sorry to announce that Waxahatchee has cancelled all
upcoming European tour dates due to health issues.

From Katie (Waxahatchee)…
“I’m very disappointed to announce that I will be unable to perform at the shows I have scheduled in Europe coming up. I’ve been having some health issues that are affecting my voice and have been put on strict and immediate vocal rest. I hate cancelling shows and I’m hoping to make it up to everyone soon.”

Lushes will now support Kurt Vile on these dates.

Unfortunately this includes our Wichita 15th anniversary show due to take place tomorrow at Islington Assembly Hall. We wish Katie a speedy recovery!


Conor Oberst and Desaparecidos have pulled out of a string of tour dates, According to a press release today (October 28), Oberst became sick during a tour date in Jacksonville, Florida. After spending time in hospital, recovering from laryngitis, anxiety, and exhaustion, doctors have now advised cancellation of all rest of the dates scheduled this year across the US.

Girl Band

Two days ago (October 26), Dublin's Girl Band pulled all of their remaining tour dates for 2015, citing "health issues in the band". This comes after they halted a show in Utrecht (The Netherlands) on October 23, and the cancellation of other Dutch shows later that day.

The band did not specify the nature of the "health issues" reasons for cancellations in their tweets on Twitter.  In an interview with NME back at the beginning of August, vocalist Dara Kiely told how their album, (Holding Hands With Jamie', revolved around his mental health problems: "It’s a weirdly personal album, even though it’s not obvious. I had a messy break-up which led to a
psychotic episode and a breakdown where I had to take a year off college and get better. And just went through depression and thought I couldn’t write again. It took me a year to feel good within myself again. The whole album is those emotions I went through; the phases of depression and the rehabilitation."

We're extremely sorry to say we have to pull all upcoming European and Nth American dates in 2015. This is due to health issues in the band.
— Girl Band (@girl_band) October 26, 2015


Foals frontman Yannis Philippakis said the band were "gutted" to cancel tour dates in South America and Mexico, when he announced at the beginning of October that he had been ordered by doctors to rest his voice. The group had been due to play in Peru, Brazil, Chile, Argentina and Mexico.

Kelly Clarkson

In mid September, Kelly Clarkson cancelled her upcoming tour dates in Canada and the UK on doctor's orders, after being forced to cancel six tour dates in America earlier in September. Clarkson told fans she has to rest her vocals for the remainder of 2015.

Accompanting a statement on her Facebook page was a picture with a message from the singer: "I am truly sorry that I have to cancel the remainder of my tour dates. I was looking forward to sharing this tour with all my amazing fans in Canada and the UK. Unfortunately my doctor is telling me I have to stay on vocal rest, but I am working hard to get better as fast as possible."

Young Thug

On September 23, American rapper Jeffrey Lamar Williams - Young Thug - sprang a surprise pull-out of a raft of dates across the US including the following day's show in Detroit. No reason was given at the time for the cancellation of the 'Young Thug: The Hy!£UN35 Tour'. A statement issued by Atlantic Records said:

“Regrettably, the following Young Thug Hy! £UN35 Tour has been postponed. Young Thug will use this time to focus on putting the finishing touches on his highly anticipated debut album, Hy!£UN35. The postponed dates will be rescheduled to 2016 in support of the release of the Hy!£UN35 album. Refunds will be available at point of purchase. We apologize for any inconvenience.”

The Who

The Who cancelled their entire North American tour in mid-September after Roger Daltrey was diagnosed with viral meningitis.

A statement on the group's website said: "The band apologise to fans and realise that the postponement will cause an inconvenience for ticketholders. It wasn't a decision taken lightly - The Who always give their fans 100% and were never going to compromise the show, but ultimately the band had no alternative but to postpone the tour."

Daltrey revealed: "For the last four weeks, I have been in and out of the hospital and have been diagnosed with viral meningitis. I am now on the mend and feeling a lot better but I am going to need a considerable time to recover. The doctors tell me I will make a complete recovery, but that I should not do any touring this year."


The Swedish DJ - real name, Tim Berger - was forced to announced in early September that he was suspending all touring due to his recovering from health issues brought about by surgery to remove his gallbladder and appendix in March. Headline dates in Las Vegas and Asian tour planned for this month were pulled.

Charli XCX

On August 21, Charli XCX and Bleachers both announced via separate Facebook posts that their joint tour had been cancelled. In her statement, she says:

"For personal reasons I will not be able to continue this tour. These personal reason include the fact that I need to be creative."

"I am so sorry to all of the angels I am bailing on last minute. Please know this was not an easy decision. I feel terrible letting you down like this and I really I hope I haven't messed up your plans too much. I've been honest and even though some of you will be understandably angry, I hope you can respect my telling the truth in this matter. Once again sorry.
Lots of love Charli xxxxx"


Nickelback announced in early August that they were cancelling all remaining dates on their 2015 No Fixed Address Tour - which included some 34 dates across Europe and UK between September and December -due to vocalist Chad Kroeger being diagnosed with an intracordal cyst on his voice box in June, subsequently undergoing surgery with vocal rest ordered by doctors for the next six to nine months.


Supertramp announced at the start of August they had cancelled their 25-date 'Supertramp Forever' European tour which had been due to start in November, because of the "aggressive" cancer treatment co-founder and vocalist Rick Davies is undergoing after being diagnosed with multiple myeloma.

In a statement the band said the concerts "have been cancelled due to health issues affecting the band's founder, Rick Davies", who added: "I'm sorry to disappoint everyone who has overwhelmingly supported the upcoming tour. Unfortunately my current health issues have derailed me and right now I need to focus all of my energy on getting well." 

Foo Fighters

When Dave Grohl broke a leg falling from the stage during the band's show at Ullevi Stadium in Gothenburg, Sweden, on June 12,
doctors immediately ordered they cancel scheduled dates in the UK and Europe for him to undergo surgery, which included Pinkpop Festival, two nights at Wembley Stadium and Glastonbury.

Iggy Azalea

Iggy Azalea tweeted on May 30 that she was cancelling her Great Escape Tour, which had been scheduled to start in the spring before it was postponed to September, then cancelled completely.

"As you may know, the tour is cancelled. I'm so sad and sorry to let my fans down... we'll be back out on the road when the next album is done."

In a later statement she expounded on her reasons: "I've had a different creative change of heart. I want to start totally anew, and if I stayed on my tour, that would mean I wouldn't even be able to start working on that until after Christmas. On top of that, mentally, to be honest with you, I just feel I deserve a break. I've been going non-stop for the past two years, nearly every single day. I'm not in a bad place. I think sometimes when you say you need a mental break, people are like, "A mental break? Be sure you don't have a breakdown because you're sad." No, not necessarily. It's very emotionally draining to be on all the time and going all the time, planning all the time. It's a lot, and it's tough. I need a break from everything to just enjoy what I worked so hard for, and I don't really feel like I've had a chance to do that. I need a break to figure out what I want my sound to progress to, and I need a break to figure out how I want my visuals to progress."

The Black Keys

In March, The Black Keys cancelled their upcoming shows in Australia, New Zealand and Japan when drummer Patrick Carney suffered a setback in his recovery after dislocated and broken shoulder. The duo had previously pulled the European leg of their Turn Blue tour, which was scheduled for February and March after Carney sustained the injury while swimming off the island of Saint-Barthélemy just after New Year.

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