Pearl Jam were scheduled to kick off their Gigaton Tour in a little over a week on March 18 in Toronto, but have now postponed it over coronavirus concerns.
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Frontman Eddie Vedder broke the “unfortunate” news through the band’s social media channels on March 10, announcing that the first leg of the tour – which comprised North American shows in Canada and the United States – had been postponed. Those shows will be rescheduled at a later date.
“As residents of the city of Seattle, we’ve been hit hard and have witnessed firsthand how quickly these disastrous situations can escalate,” Vedder wrote. “It’s been brutal and it’s gonna get worse before it gets better.”
“So it is with deep frustration and regret that we are forced to make this most unfortunate of announcements… This scheduled first leg of our PJ/Gigaton tour will need to be postponed and shows rescheduled for a later date,” he added. Read the full post below.
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As residents of the city of Seattle, we’ve been hit hard and have witnessed firsthand how quickly these disastrous situations can escalate. Our kids’ schools have closed along with universities and businesses. It’s been brutal and it’s gonna get worse before it gets better. So we are being told that being part of large gatherings is high on the list of things to avoid as this global health crisis is now beginning to affect all of our lives. Unfortunately, communing in large groups is a huge part of what we do as a band and the tour we’ve been busy planning for months is now in jeopardy… We have and will always keep the safety and well-being of our supporters as top priority. So it is with deep frustration and regret that we are forced to make this most unfortunate of announcements… This scheduled first leg of our PJ/Gigaton tour will need to be postponed and shows rescheduled for a later date. We’ve worked hard with all our management and business associates to find other solutions or options but the levels of risk to our audience and their communities is simply too high for our comfort level. Add to that we also have a unique group of passionate fans who travel far and wide. We’ve always been humbled by this and respect their energies and devotion. However in this case, travel is something to avoid. It certainly hasn’t helped that there’s been no clear messages from our government regarding people’s safety and our ability to go to work. Having no examples of our national health department’s ability to get ahead of this, we have no reason to believe that it will be under control in the coming weeks ahead. Again, here in Seattle what we are witnessing we would not wish for anyone. What we do wish for the rest of the country is that they can avoid the harsh negative effects of this and retain their sense of community and take care of one another. Just as we look forward to our next concerts and the ability to gather together and play loud songs as energized as ever. We are so sorry… And deeply upset.. If anyone out there feels the same based on this news, we share that emotion with you. – Ed & Pearl Jam
The announcement, however, did not mention the European leg of the band’s Gigaton Tour, which is currently set to kick off in Frankfurt, Germany on June 23.
The tour is in support of Pearl Jam’s forthcoming album, ‘Gigaton’, which is due out March 27. The record, their first since 2013’s ‘Lightning Bolt’, features the previously released tracks ‘Dance of the Clairvoyants’ and ‘Superblood Wolfmoon’.
The Gigaton Tour is just one of many music events affected by the ongoing global coronavirus outbreak. Last week, Austin festival SXSW 2020 was cancelled. A few musicians due to travel to SXSW spoke to NME about their struggle to recoup the costs of lost flights, hotel cancellations and axed gigs.