The woes continued Monday for the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage festival, as Fleetwood Mac – announced last week as the May 2 headliner to replace The Rolling Stones – has cancelled on the gig, along with the rest of its currently running North American tour.
“As an update to previous Fleetwood Mac posts regarding a band member illness, Stevie Nicks has the flu,” read a release by the band. “While she is feeling better already, management has consulted with her doctors and have decided to reschedule the remaining four shows of their North American tour to allow for her full recovery.”
Nicks’ illness had already caused the cancellation of two gigs on the tour, announced Friday (just a day after the band was named to replace the Stones). Now, they will postpone their scheduled tour dates until at least October, according to Rolling Stone magazine and other outlets. The hard date of JazzFest means it is impossible to move that date to later in the year. Stops in Boston, Philadelphia, Toronto, Winnipeg, Edmonton and Calgary are expected to be moved to October and November.
“Due to the illness of Stevie Nicks, Fleetwood Mac has just announced the postponement of four upcoming North American tour dates and their performance at Jazz Fest on May 2. Stay tuned for updates about May 2 talent and tickets,” read a tweet by @jazzfest on Monday afternoon.
The previous cancellation by The Rolling Stones had rocked JazzFest in late March, as singer Mick Jagger underwent a valve replacement surgery, necessitating the pushing back of that band’s North American tour this year. Jagger is reportedly already on the mend, but the back-to-back cancellations mean the annual festival in New Orleans must once again search for a headliner to add to the bill.
JazzFest kicks off on April 26 and runs through May 5. Earth Wind & Fire, Alanis Morissette, The Doobie Brothers, Santana, Katy Perry, Leon Bridges, Logic, Van Morrison, Al Green, J Balvin, Tom Jones, Chris Stapleton, Dave Matthews Band, Jimmy Bufett and a huge array of other performers – including representatives of New Orleans’ own vibrant music scene remain on the bill for the event.
The back-to-back cancellations will undoubtedly take a toll on the annual event, evidenced by the opening line by Keith Spera in The Advocate, “Is no one able to headline the 2019 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival on May 2?” Spera had already called the Stones’ cancellation just “the most devastating in Jazz Fest history.”
Fans holding tickets specifically for The Rolling Stones’ gig were already eligible for a refund, with fans holding multi-day VIP credentials due a partial refund after the legendary bands’ stepping down from the gig. Now the festival organizers must once again try to find a top-tier act to book, with less than a month to go before the curtain opens.