Stevie Nicks has cancelled her solo concerts for 2021, citing her fear of catching Covid-19.
The Fleetwood Mac star said: “While I’m vaccinated, at my age I am still being extremely cautious and for that reason have decided to skip the five performances I had planned for 2021.”
She added: “These are challenging times with challenging decisions that have to be made. I want everyone to be safe and healthy and the rising Covid cases should be of concern to all of us.”
Nicks had been due to perform at festivals in California, Colorado, Texas and Louisiana.
The last of those events, New Orleans jazz and heritage festival, has been cancelled outright, with organisers citing the “current exponential growth of new Covid cases in New Orleans and the region and the ongoing public health emergency”. Louisiana has one of the lowest rates of vaccine uptake in the US, and experienced 16,000 new cases last weekend.
Country singer Jason Isbell has cancelled a concert in Houston, Texas, after the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion venue “was not willing to comply with the band’s updated health and safety standards”. On Monday, Isbell tweeted: “We’re now requiring proof of vaccination or a current negative test to attend all our shows, indoors or out. If the venue won’t allow that, we won’t play.”
Speaking on MSNBC, Isbell said of the live music industry: “The problem is they’re just getting so much pushback from some of the governors of certain states who want to kowtow to their political base, and try to make people think their freedom is being encroached upon.” Texas governor Greg Abbott has resisted the mandating of mask wearing and social distancing, despite a spike in Covid hospitalisations that has required him to allow the state’s department of health to recruit medical staff from outside Texas.
Isbell added: “I’m all for freedom but I think if you’re dead, you don’t have any freedoms at all. So it’s probably important to stay alive before you start questioning your liberty.”
Other artists cancelling US concerts this week due to the pandemic include Limp Bizkit, who cancelled their August tour. Speaking to Billboard, frontman Fred Durst said: “The system is still very flawed. Even if the performers, crews, staff, and promoters do their best to ensure safety on and behind the stage, that doesn’t ensure the safety of the audience as a whole. We are all in this together, and we all – individually and as a whole – have to make our best efforts to be as responsible and proactive as possible moving forward to combat and stop spreading Covid.”
Counting Crows have postponed shows due to a member of their touring party contracting Covid, and Lynyrd Skynyrd have cancelled their tour after guitarist Rickey Medlocke was diagnosed with the virus.
Earlier this week, Michael Bublé postponed his US tour until October, and dates in Argentina, Brazil and Chile will also be rescheduled.