The band withdraw from the Sheffield Arena extravaganza after finding out it is not a free event...

Travis have pulled out of an arena show being organised by BBC TV‘s TOP OF THE POPS, claiming they agreed to play only if it was a free event.

Travis were due to join a line-up which included All Saints, Moloko, Ronan Keating and Craig David in an hour-long version of the programme, broadcast from the 11,000 capacity Sheffield Arena on May 29.

Tickets for the event recently went on sale priced #10, but Travis claim they confirmed to play thinking the event would be free, and if they play now it would upset fans who have already paid to see them at festivals across the country.

A record company spokesperson told “Travis agreed to participate in this event provided admission to the show was free of charge, and we do not wish to undermine those fans who have purchased tickets in good faith to see Travis at the festivals this summer.”

However, event organisers are bemused at Travis’ no-show, insisting the #10 entrance fee is only being charged to fund the hire of Sheffield Arena for the event. Others have pointed out that fans would be more upset if they played a free event this summer, with organisers charging as much as #89 for a weekend ticket to this year’s major festivals.

Top Of The Pops series producer Chris Cowey also questioned the real reason for Travis‘ withdrawal, pinning blame on pressure from the “big festivals”.

Speaking exclusively to he said: “It is regrettable that Travis have been prevented from appearing at Top Of The Pops in Sheffield on May 29. However, it is not true their participation was conditional and it seems the people behind the big festivals were concerned about this family event, which has a nominal ticket price.”

Cowey added the Top Of The Pops production team are hoping Travis will pre-record a performance, which will then be broadcast as part of the show on May 29.

Travis are confirmed to play at most of the major festivals in the UK this summer. They play the Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm, Somerset on June 23-25, T In The Park at Balado, near Kinross, Scotland on July 8-9, the Witnness Festival at the Fairyhouse Racecourse, Ireland on August 5-6, and the V2000 Festivals at Hylands Park, Chelmsford, and Weston Park, Staffordshire over the weekend of August 19-20. The band are also scheduled to appear at various festivals across Europe.