Pearl Jam are the latest artist to change their touring plans in light of the coronavirus outbreak.
The band have decided to postpone their upcoming North American tour, which was due to get under way in Toronto on March 18.
“As residents of Seattle, we’ve been hit hard and have witnessed first-hand how quickly these disastrous situations can escalate. Our kids’ schools have closed along with universities and businesses. It’s been brutal and it’s gonna get worse before it gets better.
“So we are being told that being part of large gatherings is high on the list of things to avoid as this global health crisis is now beginning to affect all of our lives. Unfortunately, communing in large groups is a huge part of what we do as a band and the tour we’ve been busy planning for months is now in jeopardy.
“We have and will always keep the safety and well-being of our supporters as top priority. So it is with deep frustration and regret that we are forced to make this most unfortunate of announcements: This scheduled first leg of our Gigaton tour will need to be postponed and shows rescheduled for a later date.”
“We’ve worked hard with all our management and business associates to find other solutions or options but the levels of risk to our audience and their communities is simply too high for our comfort level. Add to that we also have a unique group of passionate fans who travel far and wide.
“We’ve always been humbled by this and respect their energies and devotion. However in this case, travel is something to avoid. It certainly hasn’t helped that there’s been no clear messages from our government regarding people’s safety and our ability to go to work. Having no examples of our national health department’s ability to get ahead of this, we have no reason to believe that it will be under control in the coming weeks ahead.”
The statement concludes: “Again, here in Seattle what we are witnessing we would not wish for anyone. What we do wish for the rest of the country is that they can avoid the harsh negative effects of this and retain their sense of community and take care of one another. Just as we look forward to our next concerts and the ability to gather together and play loud songs as energised as ever.
“We are so sorry… And deeply upset. If anyone out there feels the same based on this news, we share that emotion with you.”
In other coronavirus-related news, radio station KLAQ 95.5FM report that the scheduled meet and greet at last night’s Kiss concert at the Don Haskins Center in El Paso was called off.
In an email sent to those who had purchased meet and greet packages, Kiss manager Doc McGhee said: “Our meet and greets have always offered us and you our fans a unique opportunity to literally stand shoulder to shoulder together.
“After many discussions with experts in the field, we have been advised to temporarily cancel these events given the reality that we do this nightly for a hundred or more fans.
“Shows will continue has scheduled and we look forward to resuming our time with you backstage.”
It’s also been reported that the annual Coachella festival could be moved from April to October due to the flu-like virus – also known as COVID-19 – although an official decision has yet to be made.
Artists including Queen & Adam Lambert, Slipknot, Whitesnake, Sons Of Apollo, Michael Schenker and Lacuna Coil have all had their live commitments disrupted due to the outbreak, while last week a fan attending Tool’s recent show in Auckland, New Zealand, was diagnosed with coronavirus.
The World Health Organisation have posted public advice in light of the spread of the virus which covers basic protective measures.