The most infamous cancelled gigs and tours

12 October 2019, 18:00 | Updated: 12 October 2019, 18:01

mpty stage after the Live 8 Edinburgh concert at Murrayfield Stadium on July 6, 2005 in Edinburgh, Scotland.
mpty stage after the Live 8 Edinburgh concert at Murrayfield Stadium on July 6, 2005 in Edinburgh, Scotland. Picture: MJ Kim/Getty Images

We look at the other famous (and sometimes bizarre) times the music didn't happen.

  1. Adele batters her vocal cords

    Ms Adkins' final two shows of a four-night stand at Wembley Stadium in July 2017 were cancelled at the last minute, after her voice finally gave out. She'd "maxed out" on steroids, to no avail. Lots of people weren't happy about losing money on travel and hotels for the London trip...

    Adele performs at Etihad Stadium on March 18, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia
    Adele performs at Etihad Stadium on March 18, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. Picture: Graham Denholm/Getty Images
  2. Dave Grohl breaks a leg

    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.

    Dave Grohl is seen arriving at his hotel on June 14, 2015 in London,
    Dave Grohl is seen arriving at his hotel on June 14, 2015 in London,. Picture: Niki Nikolova/GC Images/Getty Images
  3. Kings Of Leon get shat on from a great height

    Although we're cheating slightly here, this one is too good to leave off our list. Kings Of Leon had technically begun their show in St. Louis in 2010. But after only a few tracks, 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 the gig was swiftly curtailed.

    Caleb Followill of the Kings of Leon performs onstage during the MTV Europe Music Awards 2010
    Caleb Followill of the Kings of Leon performs onstage during the MTV Europe Music Awards 2010. Picture: Dave Benett/Getty Image
  4. 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.

    Macaulay Culkin of The Pizza Underground performs on stage at Riot Fest Chicago 2014
    Macaulay Culkin of The Pizza Underground performs on stage at Riot Fest Chicago 2014. Picture: Daniel Boczarski/Redferns via Getty Images
  5. 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.

    R.E.M. in 1993: Mike Mills, Michael Stipe, Peter Buck and Bill Berry
    R.E.M. in 1993: Mike Mills, Michael Stipe, Peter Buck and Bill Berry. Picture: Michel Linssen/Redferns/Getty Images
  6. KISS fail to kiss and make up

    To celebrate being inducted into the Rock N' Roll Hall Of Fame in 2014, Kiss agreed to play the gig with their original lineup. However, the ex-members weren't particularly keen to share the stage with the musicians that had replaced them, and the make-up clad rockers cancelled the performance.

    Paul Stanley, Peter Criss, Tom Morello, Ace Frehley and Gene Simmons of KISS attend the 29th Annual Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony
    Paul Stanley, Peter Criss, Tom Morello, Ace Frehley and Gene Simmons of KISS attend the 29th Annual Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony. Picture: Michael Zorn/FilmMagic/Getty Images
  7. Keith Richards cuts his finger

    In 1990 The Rolling Stones cancelled a show in Cardiff and two shows at Wembley Stadium because Keith, 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.

    The Rolling Stones at the end of the final gig of their 'Steel Wheels' tour, Wembley Stadium, London, 25th August 1990
    The Rolling Stones at the end of the final gig of their 'Steel Wheels' tour, Wembley Stadium, London, 25th August 1990. Picture: Graham Wiltshire/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
  8. Oasis split up

    Oasis's headline booking at V Festival 2009 would end in disaster. After playing the first show of the weekend at the Staffordshire site, the band cancelled the Chelmsford leg of the weekend. Why? A press release said that Liam Gallagher had laryngitis, but speculation began to spread that the brothers had had a huge argument post-show. A few days later they split, never to play together again, which seems to confirm that speculation.

    Liam Gallagher and Noel Gallagher of Oasis perform live at the Melt! Festival in Ferropolis on July 19, 2009
    Liam Gallagher and Noel Gallagher of Oasis perform live at the Melt! Festival in Ferropolis on July 19, 2009. Picture: Marco Prosch/Getty Images
  9. Morrissey catches a cold

    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 something from support act Kristeen Young. Young denied it, the Morrissey camp were outraged, etc etc.

  10. Mountain bikes scupper The Stone Roses

    By 1995 The Stone Roses were on their last legs. 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 Squire had broken his collarbone a week before in the US while mountain-biking. Oh John Squire, will you ever learn?

  11. Babyshambles draw the wrong crowd

    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 one of times that it wasn't because Pete was too ill to perform was in 2008. They were booked to play Moonfest in Whilshire but had their headline slot withdrawn after local police believed the band would draw the wrong type of crowd. According to Superintendent Paul Williams, their shows can "easily be whipped into a frenzy" and he pulled the gig.

  12. Mötley Crüe have "snow on the roof"

    Perhaps our favourite reason on the list, back in the eighties Motley Crue cancelled a show in London because there was "too much snow on the roof" of the venue. There's not much more we can say, really, apart from you need to read their autobiography The Dirt to find out why this sort of thing went on.

  13. Weezer’s bad leg

    Back in 1995, the 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.