Declan McKenna postpones second consecutive Manchester show

"The past two days have been heartbreaking"

Declan McKenna has postponed his planned gig in Manchester tonight (September 14), the second consecutive show that he’s been forced to reschedule this week.

The artist is currently in the middle of his already-rescheduled UK tour in support of his second album ‘Zeros’.

McKenna had been due to play two nights at Manchester’s Albert Hall yesterday evening and tonight (September 13-14), but he postponed last night’s gig after testing positive for coronavirus.

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Saying that he was “beyond devastated” to cancel yesterday’s gig, McKenna explained: “Although I had COVID just two months ago, and it is largely advised not to take tests for 90 days after having COVID due to [the] potential for false positives, it’s been standard procedure among my whole team to test very regularly in the interest of safety, and one of the tests that I took has come up as positive.

“As far as I’m aware it is unlikely for me to have COVID so close to having it before, so I do suspect this result is likely an artefact of having had COVID so recently – but I cannot travel to or enter any venue until I have this situation reviewed properly.”

McKenna has confirmed this afternoon that he has now been forced to postpone his second Albert Hall gig in Manchester tonight, telling his fans that “the past two days have been heartbreaking”.

“Throughout this tour myself, my band and crew have jumped through hoops and made huge sacrifices to try and make these shows happen, and happen as safely as possible,” McKenna said in his latest message.

“It’s been so essential to do this as properly as possible as guinea pigs for a new era of touring. Not seeing friends or family, staying either outside or in our tour bubble, testing constantly. Even with all that there’s been so many close calls with COVID, it’s only made sense for all of us to keep testing for each other and for those attending the shows.

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“It’s very easy with hindsight to regret doing this myself, as I’ve now found myself in a situation where I’m fairly confident I don’t have COVID; symptomless, fully vaxed, two months after being really sick with it and with countless negative LFTs, but it would’ve felt careless of me to have been in such high-risk situations without testing and accepting the consequences the same way I’ve asked my crew to.”

McKenna continued by explaining that “one positive result means that legally I cannot perform without the decision of an impossibly rigid dispute process, which no one has been able to update us about”. He also criticised the UK government’s track and trace system, saying that he and his touring team had “found ourselves tied up in red tape” and that “no-one on the other end of countless phone calls has seemed to be fully satisfied with or fully understand” the system in place.

“It’s been a true nightmare but I hope although it’s frustrating as it always is when shows get postponed, I hope you can all understand that these situations have come out of an abundance of caution and a desire to stay ahead of COVID and do this the right way,” he added.

McKenna concluded by telling his fans that he will keep them updated on the situation, and that he hopes to resume his tour as planned in Norwich on Thursday (September 16).

Late last month, McKenna received his second dose of the coronavirus vaccine after he performed at Leeds Festival.

Pop-up vaccination clinics were available on-site at both Leeds and Reading Festival, with attendees encouraged to step up to receive their dose during the festivals.

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