Bands Are Canceling Downtown Shows at Breakneck Pace

Posted on: August 12th, 2021 at 5:06 am by

North Mississippi All Stars @ City Winery on July 30, Photo: Everynight Charley

What follows is a dispatch from the downtown music scene with Everynight Charley Crespo, prolific Editor of The Manhattan Beat. Here is the latest entry.

There are rising concerns in some corners of the music community about a full return to live shows. A few examples affecting downtown venues…

Limp Bizkit was supposed to headline at Irving Plaza this coming Friday. It was a big deal for a popular arena band to rebound from COVID to perform in a small venue. Then Sunday, the band cancelled that show and all remaining dates on its North American tour. The nineties hard rock band joins the ranks of the many musicians who, in the past week, have cancelled shows in New York City due to concerns about the novel coronavirus.

“Out of an abundance of caution and concern for the safety of the band, crew and most of all the fans, the Limp Bizkit show this Monday and the remaining August tour is being cancelled,” the band announced in a press release. “Refunds are available at their points of purchase. All tickets purchased online will be automatically refunded.”

In addition, Circles Around the Sun was supposed to reopen the Bowery Ballroom Tuesday night. Even though the venue is now requiring proof of vaccination upon entry. The Los Angeles-based band announced instead that it was cancelling that show and the next scheduled tour stop. The band posted the following announcement on social media.

We hate having to make this announcement, but we have to cancel our 8/10 show at Bowery Ballroom in NYC and our 8/12 appearance at the Catskill Jubilee Festival. It’s just an enormous bummer and it breaks our hearts to see the current resurgence of Covid. Unfortunately, someone in the immediate family of a band member, who is vaccinated, has tested positive for Covid and we can no longer travel to NY. We want nothing more than to be playing shows right now. Having to cancel after all we have been through the last few years just feels awful. Nonetheless, we feel like we’re making the right decision on behalf of both the band and our fans’ health and safety.

Jr Jr was scheduled to headline its first-ever show at the Bowery Ballroom on August 27. The band has cancelled its tour. The following message, in part, appeared on social media on August 3.

Hey guys, this is about the least fun message we could have to deliver this week but with the recent developments related to the delta variant in the US we feel the situation around live concerts (especially indoors) is once again feeling too unpredictable for us to move forward with our scheduled August shows. As such, we’ve made the difficult decision to cancel the Detroit, Chicago, NYC and DC 10th Anniversary shows which we had scheduled this month. When we first began to plan these dates we had an idealized view that these might be joyous returns to seeing live music for many, and to performing for us (which is something we’ve missed greatly). However, the vibe has certainly shifted in recent weeks with a number of people expressing various levels of discomfort about attending indoor shows and we don’t want to ignore that this might not be the right time to celebrate. Our hope is that this is a temporary setback and that there is light at the end of this tunnel in the coming months.

New York City will be the first major city in the United States to respond to the rising infection rate by mandating that all indoor restaurants, fitness centers and performance spaces require customers show proof of vaccination starting on August 16. The pilot program will be monitored and reviewed for four weeks and then enforced on September 13. Outdoor venues will not fall under this new legislation.

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