The strangest reasons gigs have been cancelled
12 March 2020, 06:00 | Updated: 5 March 2021, 17:44
We've had a year of cancelled and postponed gigs for obvious reasons - but how about these unusual (and sometimes bizarre) times the show didn't go on...?
Dave Grohl falls off the stage
In 2015, Foo Fighters had to cancel a string of UK and Europe dates (including slots at Werchter and Glastonbury festivals) after Dave Grohl took a tumble from the stage during a gig in Sweden. Florence And The Machine stepped in at Glastonbury and Dave returned to Worthy Farm two years later.
Foot and mouth threatens the festivals
In 2001, the UK and much of Europe was in the grip of a foot-and-mouth outbreak. The disease affects cattle and while horses aren't affected, they can spread the virus, which meant that the Cheltenham racing festival that year was cancelled. The majority of music events were fine, but Bishopstock folk festival was pushed back from its usual slot in May back to August to avoid the scare - but the event folded shortly afterwards. In Holland, Dynamo festival was cancelled over the issue, meaning fans couldn't see Papa Roach, Motorhead and Slipknot headline. Luckily, Glastonbury was enjoying a "fallow year" and avoided the crisis.
Macaulay Culkin discovers nobody finds pizza funny
Oh, Macaulay. The former Home Alone star and his band The Pizza Underground cancelled the majority of their UK dates and a slot at Primavera Festival in 2014 following the less than ecstatic reaction. They had beer thrown at them by the audience in Nottingham, who didn't take to comedy songs about pizza.
Mountain bikes scupper The Stone Roses
By 1995 The Stone Roses were in crisis. A series of secret "come-back" shows were booked but cancelled once the press got hold of them. The biggest cancellation, however, was their slot at Glastonbury. However, this wasn't down to feuds, it was because guitarist John Squire had broken his collarbone a week before in the US while mountain-biking. Oh John Squire, will you ever learn?
Keith Richards cuts his finger
In 1990 The Rolling Stones cancelled a show in Cardiff and two shows at Wembley Stadium because Keith Richards, um, hurt his finger. Apparently the lead guitarist cut it on a knife and, after contracting an infection, couldn't play the shows. Although they stated it was an infection, we think it's because plasters are just *so* uncool.
Morrissey catches a cold from the support band (allegedly)
Morrissey’s health has been a concern for the past few years, with many, many shows and tours being postponed or cancelled because the singer was suffering. He’s had a brush with “cancerous tissues” and almost died from food poisoning in South America, but the oddest example was when it was claimed that US dates in 2014 were shelved due to Morrissey catching "a respiratory infection" from a support act.
The artist in question was Kristeen Young, who'd apparently had a cold, the symptoms of which, the star's representatives claimed, "were passed on to Morrissey". Young replied by saying that the cold was in fact an "allergy attack", the Morrissey camp were outraged, etc etc.
Kings Of Leon get shat on from a great height
Kings Of Leon had technically begun their show at St. Louis' Verizon Amphitheatre on 23 July 2010, but after only a few songs, the band discovered they a pretty major avian issue. The venue had a pigeon infestation and the birds began excreting when the rockers began playing. Apparently Jared got some in his mouth. Needless to say despite braving the onslaught, the gig was curtailed, with Nathan Followill tweeting: "You may enjoy being shit on but we don’t. Sorry for all who travelled many miles."
Mötley Crüe have "snow on the roof"
In January 1988, Mötley Crüe were due to hit the UK for a series of arena dates off the back of their rabble-rousing hit Girls Girls Girls. However, as their former PR Stuart Bailie recalled, the entire jaunt was cancelled. The official reason was that the various locations the Crüe were due to visit had fallen victim to a particularly fierce British winter and the accumulation of "snow on the roof" made the arenas unsafe.
This, as the British press quickly guesed, was a cover story. Bassist Nikki Sixx had suffered a heroin overdose on 23 December 1987 and was clinically dead for two minutes, before paramedics brought him round. He wrote a song about it for the band's next album: Kickstart My Heart.
Pete Doherty is too wild for Wiltshire
Now we think almost everyone who was a fan of Babyshambles encountered some kind of cancellation at some point during the band's career. But in 2008, Pete Doherty and co were booked to play Moonfest in Whilshire but had their headline slot withdrawn after local police believed the band would drive fans into a frenzy - which would have been too much for their security to handle.
Ch Supt Julian Kirby said in court: " We carried out an analysis of what Pete Doherty and his band does. What he does as part of his routine is to gee up the crowd. They speed up and then slow down the music and create a whirlpool effect in the crowd. They all get geed up and then they start fighting."
The police told the court that they had ten stewards booked for the three-day event, which also featured The Australian Pink Floyd, Ozric Tentacles, Curiosity Killed the Cat, Shakatak and Heaven 17.
R.E.M. drummer's brain explodes (sort of)
During a 1995 show in Switzerland, former R.E.M. drummer Bill Berry suffered a brain haemorrhage. Luckily he was recovered, but the band were forced to cancel the dates that followed and Berry quit the band permanently. As far as excuses go, that's a pretty good one.
Weezer’s bad leg
Back in 1995, the US band had to cancel a number of dates, including a high profile London show, while Rivers Cuomo had one of his legs lengthened. That's right, the singer was born with one leg shorter than the other and had to undergo a nasty op that saw surgeons break his limb and add a brace that stretched it a little at at time.