Singer Axl Rose says the band "has been put in an untenable position" by guitarist Buckethead's departure...

Guns N’ Roses have pulled out of their headlining slot at this year’s ROCK IN RIO – LISBON festival, due to the departure of guitarist BUCKETHEAD.

The rock legends were due to play the second night (May 30) of the five day event and would have marked the first time the band would have stepped on stage since they dramatically pulled out of last year’s US tour.

However, as previously reported by NME.COM (March 18), Buckethead quit after a four-year stint during which the band released no new material.

In a statement, singer Axl Rose revealed that their cancellation was caused by the guitarist departure.

In part, the statement reads: “The band has been put in an untenable position by guitarist Buckethead and his untimely departure… there is not a member of this camp that is not hurt, upset and ultimately disappointed by this event, and more to the point – if not this individual, certainly this individual’s choices.

“On behalf of Guns N’ Roses and myself I apologise to the fans who planned to see us at Rock In Rio – Lisbon. The festival and its tradition mean a lot to me personally and I sincerely do not enjoy being robbed by one of our own of the opportunity to be the first artist to play it for the third time.

“I would also like to express my gratitude to those who chose to embrace Buckethead’s role in Guns and support our new line up. We greatly appreciate Bucket’s contributions and remain open to “discussions” as there are obviously several issues to resolve. In the meantime rather than dwelling on the negative, Guns will be moving forward and surprisingly (without giving away any details) this unfortunate set of circumstances may have given us the opportunity to take our recording that one extra step further. Regardless we hope to announce a release date within the next few months.”