Deadheads saw plans for a multi-day destination trip to Mexico dashed at the last minute as the band was forced to call off its Playing in the Sand events late last week. The concerts, planned for January 7-10 and 13-16 in Riviera Cancun, Mexico, were cancelled just one day prior to kicking off.
“With much sadness and after great consideration of every possible scenario, the @PlayTheSand shows in Riviera Cancun on January 7-10 and January 13-16 have now been cancelled by @CID_Presents due to the spiking COVID-19 cases,” read a statement posted to social media by Dead & Company Thursday.
With much sadness and after great consideration of every possible scenario, the @PlayTheSand shows in Riviera Cancun on January 7-10 and January 13-16 have now been canceled by @CID_Presents due to the spiking COVID-19 cases…
— Dead & Company (@deadandcompany) January 6, 2022
“Dead & Company and CID Presents tried everything possible to bring normalcy and to deliver a great experience and amazing music, but with each day it became increasingly clear that canceling is the correct thing to do for our fans and for our crew,” the announcement continued.
Just one day before the event was called off, the festival had announced that guitarist John Mayer, who has been a longtime collaborator with the Dead & Company, would not be able to perform after testing positive for COVID before his departure. Prior to that, Bill Kreutzmann – a founding member of the Grateful Dead who still performs with the collective, announced he would not be going to the shows due to concerns regarding his health risks related to COVID.
Organizers had begun allowing those who were concerned about travelling for the event to request refunds in late December. But they held out until the last possible moment to actually cancel the concerts. Many had already travelled to Mexico.
“The organizers have created a shitshow. I don’t know the right way to do this during a pandemic, but it wasn’t this,” one fan already in Mexico told Rolling Stone. “CID fucked up. The show should’ve been canceled days ago. I’m not surprised they canceled, just that they did it so late. I’m confused why they’d let thousands of people fly in, then finally make the call.”
Organizers have indicated that they will be contacting those who purchased tickets to arrange refunds. It is unclear how those who purchased tickets and subsequently travelled to Mexico may expect to be made whole.